20th-Ranked Spartans Earn 8-1 Win over #27 Hope

20th-Ranked Spartans Earn 8-1 Win over #27 Hope

The 20th-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team cruised to its second-straight win to open its 2016 season, defeating 27th-ranked Hope College 8-1 in Holland, Michigan on Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans improved to 2-0 on the year with the win, while Hope dropped to 0-2.  CWRU has now won four-straight dual matches and six of its last seven matches, dating back to the 2015 campaign.

CWRU got off to a hot start in Saturday's match with a sweep of the three doubles contests.  The closest match of the three was at first doubles, where the Spartans' duo of sophomore Nithya Kanagasegar and senior Surya Khadilkar defeated Nancy Benda and Marie Holaway 8-6.  Case Western Reserve claimed 8-2 victory at both second and third doubles, with senior captain Taylor Sweeney and sophomore Nina Cepeda defeating Hope's Taylor LaBarge and Anna Garcia and senior Michelle Djohan and junior Jennifer Lowe picking up a win over Kate Mader and Natalie Rahrig.

In a matchup of nationally-ranked singles players, no. 15 Kanagasegar defeated no. 33 Benda in straight sets in the first singles match, 6-3, 6-3.  Freshman Jessica Liu picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win over Mader at third singles, and Djohan added a 6-3, 6-1 win over Holaway in the fourth match.  Rounded out the slate of victories for the Spartans were Khadilkar over LaBarge, 6-2, 6-2 at fifth singles, and Cepeda, 6-2, 6-3 over Rahrig in the sixth singles match.  Sweeney took the lone loss of the day for the Spartans, losing a tiebreaker set 10-3 after splitting her first two sets with Garcia, 6-4, 4-6.

The Spartans will wrap-up the weekend with their second-straight match against a nationally-ranked opponent, when the team travels to Kalamazoo College for a 10:00 a.m. meeting with the Hornets on Sunday, February 14th.