#22 CWRU Edges #15 Chicago 5-4 in Marathon Match

#22 CWRU Edges #15 Chicago 5-4 in Marathon Match

Playing in just her second singles match of the spring, Case Western Reserve University senior Sara Zargham picked up a three-set match-clinching victory in the sixth singles match, powering the 22nd-ranked Spartans to a 5-4 upset win over the 15th-ranked University of Chicago Maroons at the Stagg Tennis Courts on Sunday.

Sunday's match, which lasted nearly six hours from start to finish, gave the Spartans their first win of the season over a higher-ranked opponent, and their seventh victory against a nationally-ranked opponent overall during the spring.  Case Western Reserve improved to 12-4 overall on the season, while Chicago dropped to 9-4 with the loss.

The Spartans were able to take two of the three doubles matches to carry a 2-1 advantage into the start of singles play.  After freshman Jessica Liu and senior Taylor Sweeney suffered an 8-3 setback to Ariana Iranpour and Courtney Warren at third doubles, Zargham and sophomore Nithya Kanagasegar evened the score with an 8-6 first doubles win over Rachel Kim and Lucy Tang, the sixth-ranked doubles pairing in the Central Region.  At second doubles, seniors Surya Khadilkar and Michelle Djohan gave the Spartans the lead, coming back from a 6-7 deficit against Tiffany Chen and Stephanie Lee to win the match 9-7.

Khadilkar gave the Spartans a 3-1 lead, opening singles play with a 6-2, 6-2 win in the third singles match over Tang, ranked 15th in the region in singles play.  Chicago cut the advantage to 3-2 after Liu fell to Kim in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, in the second singles match, and would even the score with a win in the first singles match from Iranpour over Kanagasegar, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Sweeney would pick up a win at fourth singles, besting Kaela Bynoe 6-3, 6-4, and putting the Spartans a victory away from the upset victory over the Maroons.  However, at fifth singles, Chicago's Chen bested Djohan in three sets, 6-0, 5-7, 7-5, shifting all the attention to the sixth singles match between Zargham and Kat Stevanovich to decide the contest.

Zargham, playing in just her second singles match of the spring after being limited to just doubles play for the majority of the campaign due to injury, won the first set 7-5, before Stevanovich evened the match with a 6-2 win in the second set.  However, Zargham regrouped, besting her counterpart 6-2 in the third set, to secure both the individual victory and the team win for the Spartans.

The Spartans will return to Cleveland for their final match before the 2016 University Athletic Association Championships, when Case Western Reserve plays at NCAA Division I opponent Cleveland State University on Saturday, April 16th at 3:00 p.m.