Women’s Tennis Begins Year at Stony Brook Invitational


drew dipane/the ram Bella Genkina advanced to the semifinals of the “D” singles draw.



drew dipane/the ram Bella Genkina advanced to the semifinals of the “D”  singles draw.
Drew Dipane/The Ram Bella Genkina advanced to the semifinals of the “D” singles draw.

The Fordham women’s tennis team opened its fall season this past weekend at the seventh annual Stony Brook Invitational, with play beginning on Friday, Sept. 13 and wrapping up on Sunday, Sept. 15.

On Friday, the Rams swung into action in the “A” doubles tournament, with juniors Elliesa Ball and Sarah Ali defeating duos from Army and Navy 8-2 and 8-3, respectively. After defeating Rhode Island 8-2 in the semifinals on Saturday, Ball and Ali were set to play in the finals on Sunday against Army’s Jamila Paul and Gabirella Spindler. In a close match, the Rams edged their competition 8-6, winning the doubles “A” draw.

Also in doubles, senior Angelika Dabu and junior Julie Leong competed in the “B” draw, falling to Army 8-6, while Bella Genkina teamed up with Stony Brook’s Alexa Cohn, dropping the match to Fairleigh Dickinson 8-1.

In singles action, Genkina rebounded as she defeated Navy’s Cassie Fisbeck in three sets; 6-0, 3-6, 10-3 in the “D” draw. Genkina came back on Saturday to defeat Army’s Alyson Hayley 6-4, 6-4, but dropped her semifinal match to Stony Brook’s Louise Badoche, 6-4, 6-4.

Junior Anika Novacek also bounced back from her doubles loss to beat URI’s Jordan Rucks 6-4, 6-0 in her first singles match in the “C” draw. Novacek fell to FDU’s Gisela Castany in her second match, though.

Leong played in the “C” draw as well, advancing to the singles final with victories over Navy’s Rozel Hernandez (6-3, 6-0) and Stony Brook’s Lisa Seyton (6-4, 7-5). After a strong showing, Leong fell 6-2, 6-0 to Castany in the final on Sunday.

The “B” draw also saw strong play from Dabu, who defeated Marist’s Marielle Campbell, 6-3, 6-0. She beat Farleigh Dickinson’s Masha Krachok 6-3, 7-6 (5) to move to the semifinals but was forced to retire during her match against Stony Brook’s Cassandra Dix.

Fordham’s Destiny Grunin was also in the “B” draw, but dropped her opening match 6-1, 6-2 to Dayana Agasleva of ASA College.

In the “A” draw, the doubles team of Ali and Ball split to compete individually. The tough competition of the “A” draw gave both women a challenge, and both ultimately fell to their competitors. Ali lost to Stony Brook’s Jackie Altan Sarnai 6-2, 6-1, and Ball fell to Galina Chernykh of URI, 6-1, 6-1.

The Rams competed well this weekend, grabbing the “A” doubles tournament final. Additionally, the strong play in each of the singles tournaments demonstrated the versatility and strength coach Bette-Ann Liguori will need this fall, especially from her returning players.

“Sarah Ali and Ellie Ball have the capability of interchanging in the number one position this year,” Liguori said. “And Angie Dabu, my senior, is a solid player.”

With the addition of Elliesa Ball, a junior transfer from Marshall College, the Rams will be even stronger. Ball looks to aid Ali and Dabu in filling the hole left by Amy Simidian, a graduate of the class of 2013.

The team looks to continue its strong play throughout the regular season, hopefully placing high in the A-10 Conference, in addition to getting as many girls as possible into the regional tournament in October.

The Rams will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 21, as they host the Manhattan College Jaspers on the Hawthorn/Rooney Courts at 11 a.m. and Adelphi University at 3 p.m.