Spartan Women Strong at USTA/ITA Central Region Championship

(L-R:) Marianne Bonanno and Michelle Djohan (photo by Drew Desrosiers)
(L-R:) Marianne Bonanno and Michelle Djohan (photo by Drew Desrosiers)

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team concluded an impressive fall season with a strong showing at the United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Championship hosted by DePauw University from Friday-Sunday, September 20-22.

The Spartans compiled a 30-15 overall record as four players reached at least the third round. Of the 30 victories, four came versus seeded opponents.

Junior Marianne Bonanno (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont) led the way for the Spartans as she knocked off No. 2 seeded Sarah Woods of Kalamazoo College en route to the individual Round of 16. Bonnano defeated Catherine Christian of The College of Wooster in the first round by a tally of 6-3, 6-2 before beating Denison University's Meg Chiumento by the same scores in the second round.

In the third round, Bonanno came from behind to defeat the aforementioned Woods in a dramatic fashion, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. Despite winning an intense first game, 7-6, against No. 19 seeded Rebecca Ho of rival Washington University-St. Louis, Bonanno dropped the final two games by scores of 6-3, 6-1.

Bonanno also impressed in the doubles tournament as she and sophomore partner Michelle Djohan (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) advanced to the fourth round and knocked off the number four seeded partnership of Kelsey McGillis and Helen Svdizhkov of the University of Chicago. Bonanno and Djohan cruised through the first two rounds with 8-1 and 8-3 wins before they defeated the duo from Chicago in a thrilling 9-8 (2) match.

Djohan also excelled in the individual bracket by advancing to the final 32. In the first round, Djohan defeated Kate Moder of Hope College (Mich.) 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 and No. 11 Sarah Ray of Wheaton College (Ill.) by a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 tally.

Freshman Sarah Berchuck (Dallas, Texas/Baylor School & Suffield Academy) and sophomore Surya Khadilkar (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Hawken School) also advanced to the third round. Berchuck, the 20th seeded individual in the tournament, defeated Hope's Anna Garcia in the first round and Chicago's Maggie Schumann in the second. Khadilkar, seeded 22nd, defeated Whitney Lonneman of Ohio Wesleyan University and Kaylan Griffith of Washington-St. Louis in her two matches.

Sophomore Taylor Sweeney (Fort Gratiot, Mich./Port Huron Northern), seeded 14th, swept her first round match by a score of 6-0, 6-0 versus Sarah Torrence of Denison, while sophomore Lauren Rovner (Lima, Ohio/Shawnee) defeated No. 17 Taylor Diffley of Kenyon College 6-4, 6-1. Freshman Jennifer Lowe (Ovelrand Park, Mo./Blue Valley Northwest) also won her first round match as she defeated Washington-St. Louis' Erin Wong in an epic 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8) battle.

The Spartans also had strong performances in the consolation brackets. Freshman Kennedy Mulholland (Pepper Pike, Ohio/Beachwood) advanced to the semifinals, while sophomore Meredith Lee (South Bend, Ind./Penn) advanced to the last 16.

In the doubles consolation bracket, Khadilkar and Lowe were runners-up after they defeated teammates Mulholland and Rovner in the semifinals.

The Spartans are now idle until Sunday, February 9 when they open the spring season versus Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.