The Fordham women’s tennis team opened its spring season with a 5-2 victory over Fairfield on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Stamford Indoor Courts in Stamford, Conn.
After a few months off in winter, during which the team looked to heal injuries and strengthen individual play, the Rams took the Stamford courts by storm. To begin, the Rams bettered the Stags in both doubles matches, grabbing the overall doubles point.
In doubles, the junior pair of Sarah Ali and Elliesa Ball beat Monica Yajima and Caroline Koladzyn 6-4. Senior Angelika Dabu and junior Julie Leong added to the Rams’ score, as the pair defeated Sharissa Ryan and Toru Pirrello 6-4 at second doubles.
“I thought the match went really well and I think we definitely all stepped up our game from how we had been playing in practice,” Ball said via email. “The first match back is always a tough one after being out for a few months.”
In singles play, the Rams were equally successful, winning four out of the six matches.
The victories came in the third through sixth singles, with Dabu winning the third singles match in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 over Koladzyn. Leong then upended Kaila Nelson 6-2, 10-7, after dropping the first set 6-4 at fourth singles.
Adding to the Rams’ success was freshman Destiny Grunin at fifth singles, who defeated Pirrello 6-4, and Bella Genkina at sixth singles, who bettered Karen McKeough 6-1, 6-3. For her 6-1,6-0 win in singles, Grunin was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week.
Upperclassmen will be a huge factor in how well the Rams perform this spring. In both singles and doubles play, the players will need to step up and deliver key victories over tough opponents to continue to improve their record and standing in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
But, with this week’s combination of the two doubles victories and sweeps of third through sixth singles, the Rams took the match and started their spring season off on the right foot.
“Looking back, I think we had a pretty solid beginning to our season, and hopefully we will continue to improve throughout,” Ball said.
The Rams will be back in action next Saturday, Feb. 8, when they travel to Newark, N.J., to face the New Jersey Institute of Technology at 3 p.m.
Tara Cangialosi is the Web Editor for The Fordham Ram. You can follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/taracangialosi