The 18th-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team turned in another strong performance at the 2017 University Athletic Association Championships, defeating 19th-ranked Brandeis University 5-4 to finish fifth in the conference tournament at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida on Saturday.
The Spartans, seeded fifth in the field, finished the UAA Championships with a 2-1 record, and improved to 17-5 for the season. The victory was the team's seventh this season against a nationally-ranked opponent, with the squad going 7-4 against teams appearing in the ITA Division III Women's Tennis poll. Brandeis, the sixth-seeded squad at the UAA Championships, fell to 15-5 for the season with the loss and finished sixth at the conference tournament.
The Spartans were able to take two of the three doubles matches to carry a 2-1 advantage into the start of singles play. Junior Peyton Young and freshman Kendal Holladay bested Sophia He and Haley Cohen 8-4 at second doubles to gain the early lead, followed by junior Nithya Kanagasegar and sophomore Jessica Liu earning an 8-5 victory over Sabrina Neergaard and Olivia Leavitt at first singles. CWRU's only loss in doubles play came at third doubles, after junior Nina Cepeda and freshman Katrin Gurvich suffered an 8-6 setback to Keren Khromchenko and Michele Lehat.
Brandeis evened the score with a win in the fourth singles match from Leavitt over Cepeda, 6-1, 6-2. The Judges then took the 3-2 lead when Lehat bested freshman Katie Busch at sixth singles, 6-0, 6-0. However, the Spartans came back to even the score at 3-3 after Young defeated He, 6-4, 6-4, at fifth singles.
CWRU would take the next two match points to secure the victory, with Liu earning a 6-3, 7-5 win over Khromchenko at third singles, and Holladay claiming a three-set victory over Cohen at second singles, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Kanagasegar dropped a hard-fought match against Neergaard at first singles to close out the day, 7-6 (13-11), 5-7, 6-4.
Liu and Young finished the UAA Championships with 2-1 records in singles play, while the duo of Liu and Kanagasegar added a 3-0 doubles record during the weekend. As a team, Case Western Reserve went 7-2 in doubles matches and 8-10 in singles play during the tournament.
The end of the UAA Championships marks the end of the 2017 regular season for the Spartans, who will now await the selection announcement for the field for the NCAA Division III Championships. Team selections are scheduled to be posted to NCAA.com by 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 8th, with individual selections slated to be posted to the website at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th.