21st-Ranked Spartans Open Blue-Grey Invite with Wins over Bates, #29 TCNJ

21st-Ranked Spartans Open Blue-Grey Invite with Wins over Bates, #29 TCNJ

The 21st-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team opened play at the Blue-Grey Invitational in Fredericksburg, Virginia with an 8-1 win over Bates College on Friday afternoon, and followed with another 8-1 victory against the 29th-ranked College of New Jersey on Saturday morning.

With the two wins, the Spartans raised their overall season record to 7-2.

Case Western Reserve opened its match on Friday against the Bobcats with a sweep of the three doubles matches.  At no. 1 doubles, sophomore Nithya Kanagasegar and senior Sara Zargham picked up an 8-4 win over Elizabeth Erbafina and Bella Stone, while seniors Michelle Djohan and Surya Khadilkar claimed an 8-1 win over Kate Rosenthal and Maisie Silverman in the second match.  Senior Taylor Sweeney and freshman Jessica Liu rounded out the sweep with an 8-0 win over Emma Mattson and Emma Blakeley at third doubles.

In singles action, the Spartans would go on to win each of the top-five matches against the Bobcats, each in straight sets.  Kanagasegar earned a 6-4, 7-5 win over Silverman at first singles, with Liu defeating Erbafina 6-3, 6-2 in the second singles match.  At third singles, Sweeney claimed a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Stone, and Khadilkar defeated Rosenthal 6-0, 6-1 at fourth singles.  Rounding out the 8-1 win, Djohan picked up a 6-2, 6-0 win over Blakeley in the fifth singles match.

The team's lone setback came at sixth singles, where junior Kennedy Mulholland fell to Olivia Voccola in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

Bates dropped to 3-4 with the loss.

The Spartans took a similar route to victory on Saturday, winning all three doubles matches and the top-five singles contests, en route to an 8-1 win over the College of New Jersey, ranked 29th in Division III.  All three of the doubles matches were decided by 8-6 scores, with Kanagasegar and Zargham defeating Grace Minassian and Maddy Stoner at first doubles, Djohan and Khadilkar winning over Emma Allen and Jasmine Muniz-Cadorette at second doubles, and Liu and Sweeney defeating Anna Prestera and Alyssa Baldi in the third match.

Four of the five Spartan singles wins were in straight sets, with Kanagasegar winning 6-2, 6-4 over TCNJ's Brittany Reedman in the first match, Liu downing Allen 6-3, 6-2 in the second match, Khadilkar claiming a 6-2, 6-2 win over Emily Szkudlarski in the fourth match, and Djohan earning a 6-1, 7-6 (5) win over Prestera in the fifth match.  Sweeney picked up a three-set victory, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 10-7 over Sneha Rangu in the third match, while junior Jennifer Lowe suffered the only loss of the day for CWRU, falling 6-2, 6-2 to Baldi.

The win was the third this season for Case Western Reserve against a nationally-ranked opponent.  The Lions fell to 8-2 for the year with the setback.

The Spartans have now swept the three doubles matches four times through nine matches this year.  Liu's two singles wins during the matches give her a team-best 12 (12-4 overall record) this season, while Khadilkar remained undefeated in the spring with a 9-0 record in singles play.

The Spartans will wrap-up competition at the Blue-Grey Invitational against host and nationally 18th-ranked University of Mary Washington at noon on Sunday, March 20th