The 16th-ranked Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team turned in another strong performance at the 2018 University Athletic Association Championships, defeating 21st-ranked Brandeis University 7-2 to finish fifth in the conference tournament at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida on Sunday.
The Spartans, seeded fifth in the field, finished the UAA Championships with a 2-1 record, and improved to 15-4 for the season. The victory was the team's sixth this season against a nationally-ranked opponent, with the squad going 6-3 against teams appearing in the ITA Division III Women's Tennis poll. Brandeis, the seventh-seeded squad at the UAA Championships, fell to 11-8 for the season with the loss and finished sixth at the conference tournament.
The Spartans were able to sweep the three doubles matches to carry a 3-0 advantage into the start of singles play. Senior Nithya Kanagasegar and freshman Madeleine Paolucci bested Keren Khromchenko and Sabrina Neergaard 8-4 at first doubles to gain the early lead, followed by senior Peyton Young and freshman Nicole Cardwell earning an 8-4 victory over Haley Cohen and Rachel Zubrinsky at third singles. CWRU capped off of the doubles victories after senior Nina Cepeda and junior Jessica Liu defeated Lauren Bertsch and Olivia Leavitt 9-8 (7-2) at second doubles.
CWRU claimed the first point in singles play as Kanagasegar earned a 6-0, 6-0 win over Neergaard in the first singles match. The Judges cut the lead to 4-1 when Cohen bested freshman Mira Amin at fourth singles 6-1, 6-1. Brandeis took the next point at fifth singles when Bertsch defeated Cepeda 7-5, 6-3.
Case Western Reserve would take the next two match points to secure the victory, with Liu earning a 6-4, 6-1 win over Leavitt at third singles, and Young claiming a three-set victory over Lehat 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6). Paolucci won a hard-fought match against Khromchenko at second singles to close out the day, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-4).
Kanagasegar and Paolucci finished the UAA Championships with 2-1 records in singles play while the duos of Kanagasegar and Paolucci and Young and Cardwell added 3-0 doubles records during the weekend. As a team, Case Western Reserve went 8-1 in doubles matches and 11-7 in singles play during the tournament.
The end of the UAA Championships marks the end of the 2018 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 noon Eastern Time on Monday, May 7th, with individual selections slated to be posted to the website at 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 9th.