Women’s Tennis Wins Two Straight Matches in 48 Hours

Matt West, Contributing Writer

Fordham Women’s Tennis concluded its six-day stay at the Intercolliegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional Championship in West Point, N.Y. The Rams sent four players up north to compete at the Malek Tennis Center, including junior captain Arina Taluyenko, sophomore Valeriya Deminova and freshman Weronika Pociej, who all earned opening victories in the single’s draw.

Taluyenko played a hard-fought opening match against Seton Hall’s Regina Pitts before ultimately winning 6–4, 6–4. In her second match, Taluyenko won decisively 6–3, 6–2 against Princeton’s Daria Frayman, which propelled her to the quarterfinals but to no avail as she was defeated by Yale’s Caroline Dunleavy 6–3, 7–3 in a back and forth match.

Pociej’s talents were at full capacity as she opened with a tough draw against Army’s Bou Paola, making for a never-ending display between two great athletes. Pociej lost the first set 2–6 but bounced back nicely in the second and third sets to win 6–4 and 11–9. The trend of marathon matches continued for Pociej in the next round as she defeated Rhode Island’s Tiara Higuchi 7–6, 4–6 and 10–6 to move on to the main draw. In the main draw, Pociej was unable to get things going in the right direction as she lost 7–6, 6–3 to Sacred Heart’s Vitalina Golod.

Deminova, Fordham’s sophomore sensation, had an impressive weekend which should make Ram fans optimistic about the future. In the first round of the main draw, she had a dominant victory over Seton Hall’s Mel Taal, 6–3, 6–3. In her next matchup, things got tougher, but she managed to pull out the victory over Army’s Stephanie Dolehide 6–4, 4–6, 7–6 to advance to the round of 16. In the Sweet 16 Deminova got outplayed 6–1, 5–7 and 6–1 by Dartmouth’s Ashley Hess.

On the doubles side of the tournament, the Rams were represented by two duos: Taluyenko and Pociej along with freshman Avery Aude and Deminova. Taluyenko and Pociej got off to a hot start as they opened with an 8–3 win over Tara Veluvola and Mya Fuentes from Drexel but quickly cooled off when they went up against Boston College’s Hailey Wilcox and Dasha Possokhova, as they got dismantled 8–3.

Aude and Deminova found similar success to their other doubles teammates. They opened play with an easy 8–3 win over Rutgers’ Jaci Cochrane and Kat Muzik, but as they advanced, they ran into a dominant duo from Brown Devon Jack and Courtney Kowalsky, who defeated them 8–5.

With the first part of the Fordham Women’s Tennis regular season coming to an end, the Rams showcased a lot of potential and optimism toward the second part of the season which begins on Jan. 25 at Harvard University. The development of freshmen Aude and Pociej will be key for the Rams if they are looking to become a perennial contender in the Atlantic 10 conference.