Villanova’s men, women’s tennis teams tear up courts

Kyle Scudilla

Villanova’s women’s tennis team got off to a red-hot start to their season this week, coming away with decisive victories against the St. Joseph’s Hawks and the Millersville Marauders.

The Wildcats opened their match schedule with a trip to Finnesey Courts to battle rival St. Joe’s and won handily by a margin of 5-2.

The team was victorious in four out of its five singles matches. Candace Carlin (No. 1), Colleen Speaker (No. 2), Courtney Flezzani (No. 3) and Leighann Reilly (No. 4) each triumphed in straight sets. Villanova’s other victory on the day came when Carlin and Reilly teamed up to defeat the Hawks’ Nicole Morrison and Jess Swanderski in the No.1 doubles match.

Two days later the women’s momentum continued, as the team crushed Millersville University (PA) in a 7-0 victory.

Carlin, Speaker, Flezzani, Reilly and Puchyr all defeated their singles competition convincingly in straight sets.

In doubles action, the team of Flezzani and Speaker won their No. 1 doubles match. Carlin and Reilly added a victory at No. 2 doubles to complete the shutout of the Marauders. The win helped boost the women’s overall match record to a perfect 2-0.

Meanwhile, the men were doing a little “cleaning up” of their own, as they swept the LaSalle Explorers by a 7-0 mark.

Seniors Aaron Kusza and Ricardo Balardi came away with straight sets victories in the top two singles matches of the day. Freshmen Jorge Rodriguez, Diego Alvarado, Tony Soruco and Charlie Farmer all pitched in with singles victories, as well.

The Wildcats also claimed victory in each of the day’s three doubles matches. Scott Fahrendorf and Charlie Farmer won their No. 1 doubles match, 8-6.

The men’s doubles pairs of Diego Alvarado and Dimitri Chimerakis and Tony Soruco and Sean Gallagher rounded out the day’s wins for Villanova. The match victory marked the second straight shutout win for the Wildcats, who also achieved the feat just days earlier against Millersville.

The team then headed to Brown University to compete in the Northeast Intercollegiate Tournament. In addition to Villanova, the tournament played host to some of the most well-known colleges in the northeast, including Brown, Army, Boston College, Bucknell, Colgate, Hartford, Harvard, Hofstra, Lehigh, Manhattan, Marist, Maryland, Penn and Rhode Island.

The highlights of the tournament included 2-1 performances by Chimerakis, Soruco and Farmer in singles matches held throughout the weekend. Kusza, Rodriguez and Fahrendorf also each picked up victories in one of their singles matches.

For the tournament, however, Villanova saw more success in their doubles matches. Balardi and Rodriguez won two out of their three matches. Fahrendorf and Farmer chalked up similar marks, while the pair of Kusza and Chimerakis also picked up a win.

Villanova concluded the weekend’s play with a 9-11 record in singles matches, and an impressive 6-4 in doubles matches.

While last weekend’s tournament marked the end of preseason competition for the men’s team, the women’s team will travel to Lewisburg, Pa. to compete in the Bucknell Invitational this Saturday and Sunday.