Kanagasegar & Paolucci Fall to Top-Seeded Team in NCAA Quarterfinals

Kanagasegar & Paolucci Fall to Top-Seeded Team in NCAA Quarterfinals

Just a day removed from becoming the first All-Americans in the history of the Case Western Reserve University women's tennis program, senior Nithya Kanagasegar and freshman Madeleine Paolucci nearly pulled off an upset win in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Doubles Championships, but ultimately saw their season come to an end with a three-set loss to the top-seeded pairing in the draw on Friday night.

Kanagasegar and Paolucci dropped a 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-3 decision to Wesleyan University's Eudice Chong and Victoria Yu, who entered the tournament as the top-seeded duo.

After dropping the first two games of the match, the Spartans duo battled back, winning the next five to take a 5-2 lead in the opening set.  However, Chong and Yu battled back, evening the set at 5-5.  The two teams would then trade games, sending the set into a tiebreaker.  CWRU fended off three-straight set points in the tiebreak, knotting the score at 6-6, and then claimed the next two points to secure a first-set victory, 7-6 (6).

However, the Kanagasegar and Paolucci struggled to maintain momentum, falling behind 3-0 in the second set before ultimately dropping it 6-1 to even the match score at 1-1.

In the third set, the two teams each held serve through the first six games, before Wesleyan finally broke the Spartans to take a 4-3 lead.  Chong and Yu would claim the final two games to secure the match win.

Kanagasegar and Paolucci ended the season with a 23-9 mark in doubles play together, matching the program record for doubles victories in a season.

Friday's match was the final in the career of Kanagasegar, who will leave the program as one of the top players in its history.  She will leave the program as its all-time leader in doubles wins with a 76-32 career ledger, and is third in school history with a 56-48 singles record.  Kanagasegar is the only Spartan women's tennis player to date to be named the UAA Most Outstanding Performer, accomplishing the feat during the 2016 campaign.

The loss officially ends the 2017-18 season for the Spartans.