Women’s Tennis Impresses at Penn Invitational


Fordham Women’s Tennis got some outstanding performances at Penn University. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Matt West, Contributing Writer

Fresh off the team’s solid performance at the Army Invitational, Fordham Women’s Tennis traveled down the Philadelphia turnpike bringing swagger and confidence with them into the Hidden Duals Invitational at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sophomore Valeriya Deminova and freshman Avery Aude won A doubles at the Army Invitational last weekend. This sparked energy in their sophomore teammates Nicole Li and Genevieve Quenville. Both players looked impressive in their matches and made it to the semifinal round in the B doubles of the invitational.

On day one of the Hidden Duals at Penn, Fordham opened in doubles play where junior Arina Taluyenko and freshman Weronika Pociej got things rolling for the Rams with a 6–3 victory over St. John’s Oceane Garibal and Najah Dawson. Sophomore sensations Nicole Li and Genevieve Quenville followed this victory up with another convincing one over St. John’s Jenelle Downer and Kharkover 6–4. The stellar pair of Aude and Deminova could not finish the sweep of St. John’s, as the team fell to the Johnnies’ Milka Genkova and Camila Ordonez 6–4.

Fordham’s next opponent, Drexel, would give them more of a challenge, as the teams would split the doubles match series at two. Arina Taluyenko and Weronika carried their rhythm over from the St. John’s victory to defeat Drexel pair Salma Ziouti and Šárka Richterova 6–3. Valeria Deminova and Avery Aude bounced back nicely with a dominating 6–2 victory over Drexel’s pair of Ghita Benhadi and Marta Martinez, but things quickly changed as Fordham duo Li and Quenville lost to Drexel’s Mya Fuentes and Tara Veluvolu 6–4. The Rams’ luck got even worse, as senior Maia Balce and freshman Rachelle Yang couldn’t get past Drexel’s Katka Majorova and Cristina Corte Gonzalez, falling 6–4.

In singles play, the Rams’ Arina Taluyenko continued her strong play by going 3–0. Her first victory came against Penn’s Ashley Zhu. Taluyenko controlled every aspect of the match, winning 6–3, 7–5, 6–1. Going into day two, Taluyenko’s focus was on another level, as she won in a dominant fashion over Drexel’s Salma Ziouti 7–5, 6–2 going into her final match against St. John’s Milka Genkova. Taluyenko won easily 6–2, 6–4 and 10–6.
Avery Aude would follow behind Taluyenko as she got out to a quick start in her singles match, defeating Penn’s Clarise Huang 6–2, 6–3 then going on to beat Drexel’s Tara Veluvolu 3–6, 6–4, 10–2 in a back-and-forth battle. Aude went into her last match against St. John’s Jenelle Downer looking to leave no doubt and that she did by winning 6–2, 6–2.

Freshman Weronika Pociej came out with something to prove in her singles match. She was impressive in her victory over Drexel’s Mya Fuentes by winning 6–1, 6–4 and then defeating St. John’s Camila Ordonez in straight sets.

Fordham Women’s Tennis looks to take advantage of this off week and tweak some of its mistakes so that the team is ready for the ITA Regionals Oct. 17-22 in West Point. Look for the Rams to come aggressive and focused, being that this is the last invitational of the fall.