Section: Sports

Women’s tennis opens spring season, Lazaridou shines

Women’s tennis opens spring season, Lazaridou shines

Lazaridou upset the No. 1 singles player in the nation. | COURTESY OF MARTY FULLER

With the spring season underway, the No. 19 Kenyon women’s tennis team headed to Indianapolis to take on the No. 2 University of Chicago at a neutral site. Kenyon fought valiantly but lost by a score of 7-2, starting their season 0-1.

In doubles play, Leni Lazaridou ’26 and Allaire Berl ’25 fought valiantly in their No. 1 doubles match before falling 8-6. The Maroons finished their sweep of the doubles matches, winning 8-2 and 8-0 in the No. 2 and 3 matches, respectively. 

With the doubles matches wrapped up for the day, the competition headed into singles play. In the No. 1 matchup, Lazaridou emerged victorious in a grueling tiebreaker match, defeating the No. 1 ranked Sylwia Mikos 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10-7). In a hardfought duel between the two All-Americans, No. 19 ranked Lazaridou pulled off the upset, earning NCAC Athlete of the Week honors, the third of her Kenyon career. The only other singles victory of the day for Kenyon came from first-year Ana Brand ’27, who won the No. 5 match 7-5, 4-6, 10-2. 

Lazardiou reflected on the first match of the long spring season in an email to the Collegian. “We had a really good first weekend of matches as a team, and even though we lost to [the University of Chicago], our matches were very tight and could have easily been the other way around,” she said. “Everyone seemed pretty confident in their shots and consistency, which was definitely closely connected to the matchup compatibility. Overall, we are a team that consists of mostly aggressive players who love being on offense most of the time and are very hard hitters.”

One positive Lazaridou drew from the match was the team’s energy: “We are a very supportive team overall, and our favorite part is cheering for each other whether we have wins or losses, which is what makes our team unique compared to the others; we have really strong chemistry and connection that helps us improve in every field and motivates us every single day.” Lazaridou also highlighted some areas where the team could raise its game. “We would like to improve on the way we handle some of the crucial points, where we have to stay focused and maintain our high level of tennis without hesitating or changing our main plan if it’s been successful so far.”

Looking ahead, Lazaridou is sure that Kenyon’s future is bright this year. “I’m super excited for our season and feel confident about how strong and well-prepared our team is to face every team and achieve our final goal, which is the best possible result in the NCAA championship,” she said.

Next up, the Owls will take on No. 17 Case Western Reserve University on Saturday in Cleveland.

Sports editors Charlotte Walker ’24 and Micah Arenstein ’26 contributed to reporting.

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