Women’s Tennis Competes at Army

By Sam Belden

Junior Estelle Wong advanced the quarterfinals of her singles flight at the West Point Invitational. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

Junior Estelle Wong advanced the quarterfinals of her singles flight at the West Point Invitational. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

The women’s tennis team hit the road for the second weekend in a row last Friday, traveling upstate to participate in the West Point Invitational. There, the Rams found plenty of individual success, gaining some momentum as they move through their sprint of a fall schedule.

Sophomore Gianna Insogna was the top performer for Fordham. The native of Westlake Village, California won the C singles flight, taking down several seeded players along the way. Forced to take on fifth-seeded Layla Rodriguez of Quinnipiac in the opening round, Insogna made short work of the match and charged to a 6-0, 6-3 win. Her second round match against NJIT’s Amanda Helminsky gave her even less trouble, as she cruised to victory, 6-0, 6-1.

In the quarterfinals, she faced fourth-seeded Danna Funaro of Army West Point, the tournament host. The first set was relatively even and reached a score of 5-5, but Insogna managed to win the last two games to take it. She rolled through the last set, securing the 7-5, 6-2 victory and punching her ticket to the semifinals. There, she faced her toughest test of the weekend: a match against Gloria Son of Army, the top-seeded player in the C flight.

Insogna was on fire, however, dropping just two games as she took the first set. The second set gave her more trouble, but she managed to pull it out once again and claim the victory, 6-2, 7-5.

Her opponent in the final was Nicole Katzarkov of Quinnipiac. While Insogna ended up claiming victory for Fordham, she had to work for it. She dropped her first set of the weekend right out of the gate, losing a heartbreaking 1-7 tiebreaker. However, she won the second set and charged to victory in the third, taking the flight by virtue of a 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 10-6 score.

Insogna’s victory in C singles came on the heels of her consolation triumph at Quinnipiac the week before, establishing her as the Women’s Tennis underclassman to watch.

Sophomore Alexis Zobeideh also competed in C singles. She knocked off Colgate’s Kaelin Brittin, 7-5, 6-1, in the opening round and Seton Hall’s Thandy Kangwa, 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 10-6, in the second round before getting a free pass through the quarterfinals thanks to an injury withdrawal. Zobeideh squared off with Katzarkov in the semifinals, who beat her 6-4, 4-6, 10-6.

High finishes in the C flight were not the only Fordham successes from the weekend. Junior captain Estelle Wong advanced to the quarterfinals in the A singles flight, beating Lauren Hyland of Colgate and Christina Auyeng of Lehigh before running into Boise State’s Hanna Kantenwein, who beat her 6-1, 7-5. Senior Mayu Sato also advanced to the quarterfinals, where she fell to Binghamton’s Michelle Eisenberg 6-3, 6-2.

In B singles, sophomore Carina Ma advanced to the semifinals. She opened the event with wins over Jordan Williams of Colgate and Jennifer Lu of Quinnipiac before falling to Milena Toseva of Boise State, 4-6, 7-5, 10-6, in the final four. Freshman Maia Balce, the fourth-seeded player in the B flight, lost to Sydney Young of Quinnipiac, 7-6 (7-5), 6-0, in the round of 16.

In D singles, senior Destiny Grunin made a run at the title but ended up falling to Katie Kim of Seton Hall, 6-4, 6-2, in the championship match. Those were her first dropped sets of the weekend. Sophomore Whitney Weisberg was not as successful in D singles, but she did advance to the finals of the consolation bracket.

The Rams did not fare so well in doubles. They sent out three all-Fordham duos (as well as junior Carolina Sa, who teamed up with Allison Roma of Binghamton) across two flights, but none advanced past the second round.

The team will continue its season this weekend at the Lehigh Invitational in Pennsylvania. Play is set to get underway on Friday, Sept. 30.



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