The 16th-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team suffered a setback in its first match of the 2018 University Athletic Association Championships, as the Spartans were edged by the 13th-ranked Washington University (Mo.) 6-3 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
The loss will send the fifth-seeded Spartans to the consolation draw, where they will take on the eighth-seeded University of Rochester at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28th. Washington will advance to the UAA semifinals to take on the top-seeded and nationally top-ranked Emory University on Saturday.
With the loss, the Spartans fell to 13-4 overall on the season, while the Bears improved to 13-5.
Washington won the first doubles match of the day, with Lisa Chionis and Sanjna Tripathy besting senior Nina Cepeda and junior Jessica Liu 8-4 in the second doubles match. However, the Spartans would win the next two doubles matches, with senior Nithya Kanagasegar and freshman Madeleine Paolucci, ranked fourth in the region, defeating the region's second-ranked pairing in Ally Persky and Grace Deering 8-3 in the first doubles match, and senior Peyton Young and freshman Nicole Cardwell defeating Ashley Lessen and Brigitte Hodge 8-4 in the third doubles match.
In singles play, Washington tied the match with a 6-1, 6-2 win for regionally 21st-ranked Persky over Liu in the third singles match, and took the lead after Tripathy defeated Cardwell in the fifth singles match, 6-2, 6-4. The Bears added to their lead when Hodge topped freshman Mira Amin at fourth singles, 6-2, 6-3. WashU secured the match victory when Lessen, ranked 15th, bested Paolucci, ranked 20th, at second singles, 6-4, 6-4.
CWRU split the final two singles matches, with Young defeating Chionis, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0, at sixth singles, and Deering, ranked fifth, topped Kanagasegar, ranked eighth, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
The Spartans will now turn their attention towards their consolation matchup on Saturday. Rochester will enter the match with an overall record of 7-9. The Yellowjackets are ranked 19th in the Northeast Region. This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams, after the Spartans picked up a 9-0 win over Rochester on March 3rd behind doubles wins from Kanagasegar and Paolucci, Young and Liu, and Cepeda and Cardwell, and singles wins from Paolucci, Amin, Young, Liu, Cardwell and Cepeda.
The winner of Saturday's match will advance to face the winner of the other consolation contest between New York University and Brandeis/Carnegie Mellon in the fifth-place match, while the losing teams will face in the seventh-place match. Both matches are scheduled for Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
Fans can follow all of the action with live stats at http://www.enrollment.cmu.edu/athletics/msoccer/xlive.htm. Results and a recap of the match will be posted to athletics.case.edu following the completion of play.