By Alvin Halimwidjaya
Coming into West Point, N.Y. with a three-game winning streak, Fordham Women’s Tennis continued their recent stretch of success. The team won two games over the weekend, beating Army at West Point 5-2 on Friday, Jan. 24, and notching a victory over St. Bonaventure 6-1 on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Head coach Bette-Ann Liguori was confident in her team’s chances heading into the matchup with Army.
“As a coach, I am a big believer in momentum, and I believe it had a part to play in our win against West Point,” she said. “I also studied their results against common opponents, Rutgers in particular. I knew that West Point beat Rutgers, but I believed in my singles play. I felt we could take every singles match, even if we lost doubles.”
Liguori’s prediction proved to be true, as though Fordham lost the doubles point against Army, they stormed back in singles play.
In doubles play, the Rams started off with a win by sophomore Carina Ma and junior Estelle Wong over Kirby Einck and Gloria Son, 6-3. However, the duo of freshman Maia Balce and sophomore Gianna Insogna fell to Allyson Hayley and Genevieve McCormack 6-4, while senior Mayu Sato and sophomore Alexis Zobeideh lost to Melanie Allen and Bridget Guenard 6-1.
The Rams proceeded to take five out of six singles matches, starting with Ma’s win over Allen 6-3, 6-0. Wong was victorious against Einck with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback, while Balce defeated McCormack in two close sets 7-5, 7-6 (5). Sato beat Guenard 6-4, 6-4, and Insogna defeated Ari Spirtos 6-4, 6-4. Fordham’s only loss came from senior Destiny Grunin, who lost to Yuka Lin 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-1.
Fordham carried their success against Army into their match against St. Bonaventure. The Rams started off by capturing the doubles point. The pair of Ma and Wong notched a win against Mara Martinez-Santori and Gabriella Bowe 6-1, Balce and Insogna defeated Clara Herberts and Kahlei Reisinger 6-1 and Sato and Zobeideh came out on top against Francesca Chin and Nicole Kozinski 6-1.
Fordham’s dominance continued in singles play, once again taking five of six matches. Ma started by beating Mara Marinez Santori 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 in first singles, and Estelle Wong smothered Gabriella Bowe 6-0, 6-2. Balce churned out yet another singles win against Clara Herberts 6-2, 6-4 in third singles, while Sato defeated Dominique Mortier 6-1, 6-4. Insogna defeated Kahlei Reisinger 6-0, 6-2, and Fordham’s only loss came as Grunin fell in a tough match to Lauren Doversola 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
A huge factor in Fordham’s recent winning streak is freshman Maia Balce. Despite her inexperience, she has remained undefeated in singles play in the 2017 spring season. “Maia has impacted the line in a big way,” said Liguori. “She struggled in the fall season, but overcame some difficulties to come back strong after the Christmas break.”
Returning to West Point on Friday, March 3, the Rams’ next game will be against Southeastern Louisiana University.