Women: Last Saturday, during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association NCAA Division III Central Region Championship at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), Kenyon sophomores Allaire Berl ’26 and Eleni Lazaridou ’26 stood out with impressive performances in singles play. Both achieved an exciting 4-1 record, advancing to the semifinals in the 64-player bracket.
Berl navigated her matches with notable victories, showcasing her skills against opponents from Transylvania University (Ky.) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), among others. In the round of 16, Berl upset her No. 4 opponent from the University of Chicago (Ill.) 7-5, 7-5. However, her berth in the tournament came to an end in the semifinals, where she faced the top-seeded player, Sylwia Mikos of the University of Chicago.
Similarly, Lazaridou demonstrated her prowess in the tournament, securing impressive victories and advancing to the semifinals. Her journey included wins against players from Anderson University (Ind.) and North Central College (Ill.). The No. 2 ranked Lazaridou showcased determination and resilience, battling through challenging matches and winning her quarterfinal match 6-1, 6-1. Unfortunately, her journey was halted in the semifinals by a strong opponent, Hannah Kassaie of CWRU.
In addition to the singles success, Kenyon’s doubles teams also exhibited thrilling performances, making it to the round of 16. The pairs of Shadia Amado Aguad ’26 and Eleni Dakos ’24, Berl and Lazaridou and Ana Brand ’27 and Natalie Connelly ’25 were all victorious in the first two stages of play. However, each duo faced tough opposition in the round of 16, marking the end of doubles play for Kenyon.
“After seeing our results in this tournament I think our team will go very far in our upcoming season,” Berl wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We beat some of the top players in the nation, and I think this proves how strong we have gotten as players and a team! It definitely made us all very excited to compete in the spring season where we will be able to play as a team and not individually.”
The Owls will kick off their spring season in a scrimmage against the University of Northwestern Ohio on January 27, 2024.
Men: On the weekend of Sept. 16, the Kenyon men’s tennis team opened its fall season with the Kenyon Invitational, where the Owls faced off against eight teams. The team earned an 18-6 record in singles and an 8-5 record in doubles.
Rakkan Audeh ’25, who boasted a flawless 6-0 record across both doubles and singles play, led the team. In each of his three singles victories, Audeh dominated, defeating opponents from Washington and Lee University (Va.), Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Oberlin College in straight sets.
In the doubles arena, Audeh paired with Alejandro Gonzalez ’27 for the first two matches. Their first performance was a 6-3 victory over CWRU. In their second match, the two battled against Denison University, squashing their Big Red opponents 6-2. In his final doubles match, Audeh played with Subhan Bin Salik ’25 against Otterbein. Audeh and Bin Salik showcased their dominance in an 8-0 victory, working seamlessly with one another.
In a message to the Collegian, Audeh revealed the secrets to his success in the Owls’ first tournament. “I think putting a big emphasis on fitness this summer has helped me start the year off great,” Audeh proclaimed. “In the past, I would only hit tennis balls, but this past summer, I spent a lot more time on my footwork, physique and strength. All of that stuff goes a long way to help me feel more confident and more relaxed on the court.” Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Audeh is optimistic about Kenyon’s potential. “The sky is the limit for what this team can accomplish this year.”
Elsewhere, Paulo Pocasangre Kreling ’26 and Eliezer Gonzalez ’26, who earned All-NCAC first team duos honors last year, went 1-2 on the weekend against pairs from Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) and CWRU. In singles, Pocasangre Kreling went 2-0, winning both matches against CWRU opponents in straight sets. Eric Zhang ’25 went 2-1 in singles play, winning two thrilling matches in tiebreaker fashion. In doubles play, Zhang teamed up with Christophe Leblanc ’25, ending the weekend 2-1.
The Owls will return to the court this weekend in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they will take on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Championship.