Women’s Tennis Suffer First Loss Against Case Western

Erickson Andrews

The eighth-ranked Yeowomen suffered their first loss of the spring tennis season on Friday, Feb. 22, as they fell to the seventh-ranked Spartans of Case Western Reserve University 1–8.

The Spartans, who beat the Yeowomen 4–5 last year, jumped on the Yeowomen early, winning the first three doubles matches to take a 1–3 lead. To try to make up some ground, Head Coach Constantine Ananiadis made a surprise move, switching senior Farah Leclercq to second singles and bumping junior Brenna Sheldon to first singles. This bold move had the Yeowomen on the verge of winning both matches, but in the end Sara Zargham, the first singles player from Case Western, outlasted Sheldon to take the match 6–7 (8–10), 6–3, 6–7 (4–7).

“It was one of the best matches I have seen in a long time,” Head Coach Ananiadis remarked. “It could have gone either way, and both girls played their heart out. I am really proud of how Brenna performed out there.”

In the loss, Sheldon took the fourth-ranked player in the region to three sets and even had a match point in the third set, but was unable to put it away. In second singles, Leclercq, the seventh-ranked player in the region, soundly beat Taylor Sweeny, the 22nd-ranked player, by a score of 4–6, 0–6.

The Spartans won both third and fourth singles despite valiant efforts by Oberlin sophomore Grace Porter and senior Preeya Shah. In the third singles match, Porter hung tough in both sets but lost in the end 3–6, 4–6. Shah managed to take Alex Kim of Case Western to three sets after winning the second in a thrilling tiebreaker 7–6 (7–3), but it was not enough as she dropped the final set 3–6. Overall, the team score at the end was 1–8.

After the match, Head Coach Ananiadis reacted to the first loss of the season by saying, “We lost to a better team today, but we had out chances to win. You have to take advantage of the opportunities given to you in order to beat a team like Case [Western], and we didn’t do that today. We will learn from this and come out strong in our next match.”

The Yeowomen return to action on Wednesday, March 6 at home against Division-II foe Ashland University. In the contest last year between Oberlin and Ashland, Ashland was able to pull out an 8–1 victory; but with home court advantage and new life, the Yeowomen believe that they have a great chance at winning. “If we play our game, they don’t stand a chance,” said Porter. “It is a good opportunity for us to make a statement win. Everyone should come out and watch us play on Wednesday.”