UChicago women’s tennis team wins first NCAA title

Maroons earn championship after finishing as runners-up the past two years

For the University of Chicago women’s tennis team, the third time was the charm. After finishing as the national runner-up in the NCAA Division III tournament the past two seasons, the program won its first championship Thursday with a thrilling 5­–3 victory over Wesleyan.

The No. 3-ranked Maroons (23­–1) became just the third UChicago team to win a team championship in the school’s Division III era—joining men’s tennis (2022) and men’s soccer (2022).

Sylwia Mikos clinched the title for the Maroons in a thrilling three-set match, winning the last set in six straight games. After the deciding point, Mikos’ teammates mobbed her on the court, screaming and jumping in excitement.

“It felt unreal, yet deep down we knew we could pull it off,” Mikos said after the match. “There was so much to take in, so much to enjoy. After coming close in the previous two years, this victory feels especially rewarding.

“This win is a testament not only to our efforts this year but also to the strong foundation laid by the previous teams and seniors… The entire University of Chicago community has been behind us, setting us up for the success we had this season. Just an incredible experience all around.”

The Maroons took two of three matches in doubles play to take a 2–1 lead, as the duos of Rena Lin and Olwia Mikos (Sylwia’s younger sister) and Sylwia Mikos and Shianna Guo both won. Lin was dominant at No. 1 singles, winning in straight sets, but Wesleyan kept the match tight throughout, winning at both No. 4 and No. 5 to even the match score at 3-all.

Tensions were high as the final three remaining matches all went to three sets, including a furious rally by Sarena Biria to win in three sets at the No. 6 spot.

UChicago made its fourth total appearance in the NCAA title match—the Maroons also finished as runner-up in 2012—and seventh trip to the Final Four.

The Maroons also needed an historic comeback victory in the semifinals to even reach the title match. After dropping all three doubles matches, UChicago won five of six singles matches—clinched with a win at No. 5 by Guo—to advance to the championship and complete the largest tournament comeback in Division III history since 2008.

“Our motto that we kept repeating this week was: ‘What is delayed is not denied: keep the faith,’ which is the story of our season, and also our program's history dating back to 2008, before I even started at UChicago,” said head coach Jay Tee, now in his 12th season. “Those teams in the early 2000s put the program on the map and showed us what could be possible here. They got close in 2012 and we were close again in 2022 and 2023, but it wasn't our turn. It feels good to get this one for all the former players and coaches who built the foundation that this championship was won on.”