April 23, 2013

No. 22 Spartan Women Enter 2013 UAA Championship Tournament as No. 5 Seed

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Having worked its way through a rough non-conference schedule, the No. 22 nationally-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team has earned the No. 5 seed in the upcoming University Athletic Association Championship and  will square off with No. 4-seeded University of Chicago at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 25 at Sanlando Park.

The Spartans finished the regular season at 11-7 overall with eight dual matches versus nationally-ranked foes. In the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's most recent rankings, the team sits fourth in the Central Region and No. 22 nationally – both bests in program history.

The team will now try and better its UAA performance from a season ago in which it finished seventh.

Leading the Spartans into this year's championship is freshman Sara Zargham (Torrance, Calif./California Academy of Math and Science) with an overall singles record of 15-8. Ranked third in the ITA Central Region, Zargham is 5-7 in the No. 1 singles slot and 2-0 at No. 2. The rookie also advanced to the semifinal round of Flight A singles during the USTA/ITA Central Region Championship in St. Louis, Missouri this past fall.

Also seeing time in the top spot of the lineup after returning from studying abroad in the fall is senior Erika Lim (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton Union). Lim, the team's No. 1 player as a junior and currently ranked 16th in the region, is 3-2 at No. 1 and 3-5 in the second slot.

With plenty of depth on the roster, Head Coach Todd Wojtkowski has a lot options available following Zargham and Lim in the singles lineup. Freshman Taylor Sweeney (Fort Gratiot, Mich./Port Huron Northern), sophomore Marianne Bonanno (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont), freshmen Surya Khadilkar (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Hawken School) and Michelle Djohan (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake), and senior captain Kathleen Evers (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) have all seen significant time in the lineup throughout the spring.

Sweeney is 12-10 this spring having played six matches at No. 2 (4-2) and 10 at No. 3 (5-5). Bonanno is 9-11 in the bottom four slots, while Khadilkar is 13-8 overall with time in the lineup from No. 2 to No. 6.

Djohan posted a 10-5 mark including a 3-1 record at No. 6, while Evers was 7-3 in the bottom three slots and will provide an experienced presence.

In doubles, the No. 1 tandem of Lim and Khadilkar are ranked sixth in the region with a 7-1 mark.

The bottom two doubles tandems could be mixed and matched with any number of combinations.

A win versus Chicago on Thursday morning, whom the Spartans lost an 8-1 decision back on April 5 in Wisconsin, would advance the team in the winner's bracket to face the winner of top-seeded Emory University (Ga.) and No. 8 New York University at 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

Final place matches are set for Saturday, April 27.