Women’s Tennis Defeats Queens College and Stony Brook To Improve to 7-8


Fordham Women’s Tennis improved to 7-8 after wins over Queens College and Stony Brook last week (Emily Sayegh/The Fordham Ram).

By Charlie Maisano

Fordham Women’s Tennis improved to 7-8 after wins over Queens College and Stony Brook last week (Emily Sayegh/The Fordham Ram).

This past week was a bounce-back week for the Fordham Women’s Tennis team. Coming off a week where they split games against A-10 opponents, the Rams wanted to gain some momentum before playing two more conference opponents in the last two games of the season. The women were able to stay home for their first game of the weekend on Friday and then headed out to Long Island for their match on Saturday.

Fordham hosted the Queens College Knights at Rose Hill for an afternoon showdown on the Hawthorn/Rooney Tennis Courts. The Knights entered the contest with a 10-3 record, while the Rams were 5-8 (2-2 A-10). This game had a different feeling compared to the other games played here in New York considering it was the first time all season that the weather actually felt like spring. By the time the game started, the weather had reached well above the 70-degree mark.

Between the beautiful weather and a strong outing from the entire team, the Rams dethroned the Knights, 5-2. The game started off on the wrong foot for Fordham, as senior Estelle Wong and junior Whitney Weisburg were shut out by Emy Alplund and Louisa Brunetti, 6-0. Following that loss, Fordham came storming back to take the doubles point courtesy of sophomore Maia Balce’s and junior Gianna Insogna’s win over Laura Ortega Jover and Reehan Rashad, 6-3, along with another win from junior Tatiana Grigoryan and senior Carolina Sa. They defeated Araceli Bel Aleixendri and Line Sorsdahl Aasen, 6-2.

In singles, the Rams were victorious in four of the six matches, which sealed their victory. In all four victories, it took each woman two sets to beat her opponent. Grigoryan in first singles beat Rashad, 6-1, 6-4. Wong got the win against Louisa Brunetti, 6-4, 6-3. Balce took down Alpund, 6-3, 6-0 and Insogna easily handled Bel Aleixendri, 6-2, 6-0.

The Rams couldn’t celebrate the win for too long because they had to get ready for their second game of the weekend against the Stony Brook Seawolves. Stony Brook has been a formidable team this season. Before the game against Fordham, the Seawolves were riding a five game winning streak, were undefeated at home (5-0) and had a 9-6 record.

It looked like Stony Brook would easily handle the Rams early on in the matchup. The Seawolves had the momentum right off the bat by winning the doubles point. The only Fordham team to win their doubles match was Grigoryan and Sa, as they defeated Maria Pinto Ribeiro and Amanda Foo, 6-1.

Grigoryan and Sa won both of their games last weekend and are 4-1 as a pair this season. Head Coach Bette-Ann Liguori credits their success to the tremendous chemistry they have together.

“A major element of doubles is having team chemistry. I believe Carolina and Tatiana are a great example of that,” said Liguori.

Already down entering singles, the Rams needed to win at least four of the six matches to comeback and win the game. That was exactly what they got with Balce, Insogna, Weisburg and Wong all picking up wins against their opponents.

Fordham’s win ended the Seawolves five game winning streak, added a loss to their previously-undefeated home record, and brought Stony Brook’s overall record down to 9-7.

“Beating Queens, at home was a confidence booster for us but Stony Brook was just a tremendous,” said Liguori. “Just this past week Stony Brook beat LIU, and us having lost to LIU in March, made this win significant. Seeing us come together as a team, where everyone played great tennis, made it the best win of our season.”

With the A-10 Tournament only two weeks away, the Rams will have to finish their season against conference foes before they can head to Florida. On Friday April 20, Fordham will face Duquesne in Pittsburgh at noon. They will return home on Saturday for Senior Day to battle with La Salle in their final regular season game of the season at 11 a.m.

Right now, the Rams are 7-8 and need to win to beat both of these teams to lock up a higher seed in the A-10 Tournament. Liguori knows just how important these last games are and expects the best from her squad.

“Playing these teams, especially Duquesne is pivotal before going to conference. We should beat La Salle, but Duquesne should be very close and if we beat them, then we are guaranteed a sixth seed.”