Spartan Women Climb into ITA National Rankings for First Time in Program History

Sara Zargham (photo courtesy of Chris Mitchell)
Sara Zargham (photo courtesy of Chris Mitchell)

SKILLMAN, N.J. – The first spring Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 30 poll of 2013 has been released, and the Case Western Reserve University women find themselves in the national rankings for the first time in program history.

The Spartans, who have posted a 6-2 record during dual matches thus far, are ranked No. 30 in NCAA Division III as well as seventh in a powerful ITA Central Region. The team's only two losses this season have come to fellow nationally-ranked opponents.

"Rankings for us can be used as a motivational tool and show quantifiable signs of progress as a program," said fifth-year Head Coach Todd Wojtkowski. "I know the ladies are excited about it, however, a few have commented that they certainly aren't content with just breaking into the rankings. We were a few points away from beating the No. 10 team in the country on its home court a few weeks ago. I expect those types of performances, along with the national ranking, to keep driving us to train hard and improve throughout the remainder of the spring and beyond."

Individually, freshman Sara Zargham (Torrance, Calif./California Academy of Math and Science), ranked No. 4 in the region in singles, has posted a team-best 13-2 mark including a 5-1 record in dual matches. Classmate Taylor Sweeney (Fort Gratiot, Mich./Port Huron Northern), ranked 22nd in the region, is 7-5 overall with a 5-2 record in the top-three singles slots.

Sophomore Alexandra Lim (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton Union) has seen action in six dual matches with a 4-2 record in the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 positions, respectively, while older sister and senior Erika Lim (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton Union) returned from studying abroad during the fall semester and has shared playing time with Zargham at No. 1 and No. 2 singles with a 3-2 record. Sophomore Marianne Bonanno (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont) has solidified the bottom of the Spartan lineup with a 4-1 mark in duals.

In doubles, Zargham and senior captain Kathleen Evers (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) are tabbed at No. 12 in the region. The duo is 6-2 overall and 2-0 in dual matches, while the tandem of Zargham and Erika Lim is 4-1 this spring in the top doubles slot. Additionally, Alexandra Lim and senior Emily Pham (Mason, Ohio/William Mason) are 4-1, competing mainly at No. 2.

The Spartans will have their national ranking tested as they head west to California for a Spring Break trip that will feature seven matches with a trio versus nationally-ranked foes. In its first match, Case will square off with No. 22 University of Redlands (Calif.) on Saturday, March 9 at 9:30 a.m. (PDT).