UChicago women’s tennis team finishes as NCAA Division III runner-up for second year in a row

Top-ranked Maroons won 23 matches before loss in championship

For the second-straight season, the University of Chicago women’s tennis team reached the NCAA Division III national championship match, before falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5–3 on May 17 in Orlando, Florida.

The top-ranked Maroons won 23 matches in a row before being beaten by the No. 2-ranked Athenas, who repeated as champions with a 27–1 record. In two seasons, UChicago has compiled a stellar 45–3 mark, with two of those losses coming to C-M-S in the NCAA title match.

“I told the team as far back as 2021, that a grade, an internship or a win or a loss does not define who they are as people, and that couldn’t be truer than after (Wednesday’s) result,” said head coach Jay Tee, now in his 11th season at the helm of the women’s and men’s teams.

“All that the women accomplished this season was a direct result of their determination, grit, fight and love for one another, and the finals loss doesn’t change who they are or what they’ve done. I wouldn’t trade the memories we made this season for anything because this team is so incredibly special.”

On Wednesday, the Maroons fell behind C-M-S by a score of 2–1 after doubles play, with the No. 2 duo of fourth-years Claudia Ng and Perene Wang earning the point for UChicago with an 8-5 victory. In singles, UChicago continued to push the Athenas, collecting straight-set victories from second-years Nicole Geller and Shianna Guo to even the score at 3–3.  UChicago extended the final two singles matches to third sets, but C-M-S was able to capture the clinching point with a win at No. 5 to end the match.

UChicago finished the season as the defending champs of the winter Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Championship after also winning it in 2021 in addition to winning the University Athletic Association championship in back-to-back years.

“Winning back-to-back UAA and indoor national championships and reaching two-straight NCAA finals is never easy, but it’s made a lot easier by having the type of people we have on our team,” Tee said of his squad that hails from nine states and six countries. “Winning is important to them, but it isn’t what drives them. When you have fun every day and genuinely enjoy being together, the results tend to take care of themselves.”

The Maroons will graduate five fourth-years from this year’s rosters but will return 11 players, including reigning ITA Cup singles champion Sylwia Mikos (21–3 singles record).

“The future is bright for the team because the seniors we lose have done such a phenomenal job creating a culture of excellence and love,” Tee said. 

Both UChicago tennis teams—the men’s squad bowed out in the NCAA Third Round—continue play in the NCAA Individual Championships May 18–22.