Women dominate Bucknell Invitational

Lauren Ciancia

Last weekend, the women’s tennis team traveled to Lewisburg, Pa. to participate in the Bucknell Tennis Invitational.

The ‘Cats have always posted positive results, yet never has their successes at the tournament come close to those achieved during the past weekend.

For the first time in several years, the women captured not one, but two singles titles in addition to a doubles title and a number of great singles and doubles victories.

Freshman Candice Carlin continues her standout play at the first singles position posting victories against singles players from Duquesne, Boston University and Georgetown before cinching the Flight A singles title by defeating Bucknell’s Tanya Sichko 6-1, 6-0.

“College tennis is so much closer and less individualized than high school tennis and this closeness generates enthusiasm which really separates our team from others,” Carlin said. “Our team has high expectations for this season.”

At the Flight C level, senior captain Kelly McAndrew fared equally well as Carlin, by capturing the Flight C singles title.

She defeated Chelsea Mills of Bucknell in the finals, 6-3, 6-2, and expressed an equally enthusiastic response to the tournament results.

“I went out there not worrying about who I was playing,” McAndrew said. “I have wanted to win the Bucknell Invitational since my freshman year at ‘Nova and I finally did it!”

The Villanova victories were contagious. At the Flight D level senior captain Erica Walter and freshman Mai Kokubo both advanced to the singles finals respectively. However, the two did not go head-to-head since they both represent Villanova.

Walter defeated Georgetown’s Kristen Dew in the semifinals round, 6-1, 6-3, and Kokubo defeated Georgetown’s Eileen Boyle in straight sets.

At the doubles level, Villanova executed well despite fears that doubles could potentially be a vulnerable spot for the Wildcats. “The doubles need work because the teams are still getting to know one another, but they did great this weekend,” Walter said.

“If doubles continues to perform well, they will give us the momentum to dominate and succeed in the Big East this season” McAndrew said.

The tandem of Carlin and Melissa Reed were victorious in all their tournament matches as was the senior duo of Jessie Rybacki and McAndrew.

“I was very pleased with the overall play of the team,” head coach Steve Reiniger said.

“Our seniors had good tournaments, Candice Carlin had a fantastic tournament, but the most encouraging part of the past weekend was the doubles.”

“Each team showed considerable improvement from the start of the season. We still have plenty of work to be done with doubles but it is good to see that we are improving.”

The ‘Cats are optimistic for this week’s upcoming match versus Lafayette.

“We are confident after the invitational and we are all really motivated as a team for the upcoming match against Lafayette,” Walter said. The squad traveled to Lafayette on Thursday, but reults were unavailable at press time.