Women’s Tennis Loses to VCU at Atlantic 10 Tournament

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Women’s Tennis Loses to VCU at Atlantic 10 Tournament

Fordham was eliminated by VCU in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

Fordham was eliminated by VCU in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

Fordham was eliminated by VCU in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

Fordham was eliminated by VCU in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

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By Charlie Maisano

Fordham’s Atlantic 10 tournament ended with a loss to VCU this weekend (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

After going 8-9 (3-3 A-10) in the regular season, the Fordham women’s tennis team headed down to Orlando, Florida for the much-anticipated Atlantic 10 Championship at the USTA National Campus.

Based on their record, the Rams received the eighth seed in the tournament and played their first round game against the ninth seeded Saint Louis Billikens last Wednesday. The previous time these two teams met, Fordham bested Saint Louis, 6-1, on March 2 in Harrison, NY. The Rams may have won their regular season matchup against the Billikens, but come playoff time no team should be overlooked.

The Rams followed this mentality and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-1 win over the Billikens. To start the match, Fordham won the doubles point courtesy of a two game sweep. Junior Tatiana Grigoryan and senior Carolina Sa won the first match as they took down Alana Bourgeois and Gabriella Papachrisanthou 6-2 in third doubles. In second doubles, sophomore Maia Balce and junior Gianna Insogna defeated Alba Salinas and Ariana Rodriguez 6-3. The first doubles match with senior Estelle Wong and junior Whitney Weisburg went unfinished, so the match did not count.

With the doubles point wrapped up, the Rams continued to dominate in singles competition. Balce, Insogna and Weisburg all picked up wins to give the Rams the victory. Grigoryan and Wong were both winning their matches, but like the first doubles match, each game went unfinished. With the win, Fordham advanced past the first round in the A-10 Tournament for the second consecutive season.

The next day, the Rams were tasked with facing the number one overall seed in the tournament, the VCU Rams. VCU finished the regular season with a 14-5 record (2-0 A-10) and the team was awarded a first round bye for its stellar year. These two teams did not face off in the regular season, so there was some unfamiliarity on both sides.

Regardless of their experience against the VCU Rams, the Fordham Rams had their hands full going up against arguably the best team they have faced all year. Although they gave it their best effort, Fordham came up short and lost to VCU 4-0 in the Battle of the Rams. The match started with VCU sweeping the doubles point in two games. Balce and Insogna were losing their doubles match to Noumea Witmus and Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado 5-4 before it was called off with no winner.
In singles, the Fordham Rams were once again swept in four matches. Two singles matches were also not finished, but the damage was already done. VCU eliminated Fordham from the tournament and ended its season.

In the end, Fordham finished with a record below .500 at 9-10. With the season officially over, Head Coach Bette Ann Liguori looked at the positives of a season that ended in disappointment.

“We had a great start of the season, but injuries plagued us after St. John’s match in February. However, we had a tremendous win over Stony Brook and advanced to the quarter-finals of the conference tournament.”

Coach Liguori will also “miss the laughter and fierce competitiveness” of seniors Estelle Wong and Carolina Sa, who are both graduating at the end of the semester.
The 2017-2018 season is now in the past for the Rams and Coach Liguori is looking forward to the future.

“We have a very strong recruit coming next semester, Arina Taluyenko, a transfer from Georgia State. With Arina and Nicole Li, an incoming freshman, they should have a huge impact on the team. I have four returning seniors and one junior next season and I look forward to them leading the team to what I believe will be our best year ever!”