Women crush Drexel; men drop two

Chase Gibson

During a week littered with weather cancellations, the women’s tennis team steamrolled past Drexel while the men dropped closely contested matches to Lafayette and Drexel.

Last Friday’s 7-0 win at Drexel improved the women’s record to 4-10 on the year.

Seniors Steph Ariot and Jennifer Zick set the tone in No. 1 doubles, sweeping the Drexel duo of Meryem Chaoui and Lynn Pigliacampi, 8-0. In No. 2 doubles Jessie Rybacki and Kelly McAndrew picked up the win, giving Villanova its early lead. Rybacki and McAndrew put away Brandy Tricker and Michelle Septak, 8-3. The Flezzani sisters, Courtney and Morgan, sealed the doubles sweep with a hard-fought win in the final set, 9-8.

The singles results were even more impressive. None of Villanova’s six singles wins required a third set. In the closest singles match of the day, Zick defeated Chaoui, 7-5, 6-2. Courtney Flezzani won No. 2 singles handily, 6-2, 6-1. Rybacki clinched ‘Nova’s fourth victory, crushing Tricker, 6-1, 6-0.

McAndrew continued her string of individual victories, registering a 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Freshmen Lindsey Puchyr and Kate Bowler offered coach Steve Reiniger a glimpse of a promising future, retiring their opponents 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-0, respectively.

“The senior leadership [Zick and Ariot] has been strong this year,” Reiniger said. “Things look optimistic for next year. Our junior class of Jessie Rybacki, Kelly McAndrew and Erica Walter will look to lead the team as seniors.”

Coach Reiniger hopes his team’s dry spell will take a turn for the better in the season’s final matches. “The doubles has been consistently improving and the team is competing better.  Almost every match the singles matches have been close, we just haven’t found a way to come out on the winning side.”

With matches at Seton Hall and against St. John’s canceled due to weather conditions, the team has a busy last week of the season. Hoping to come out on the winning side, the team welcomed Bucknell in yesterday’s final home match. The team travels to battle Connecticut tomorrow and Providence on Sunday. The team then faces Seton Hall for a rescheduled match on Tuesday.

The men’s team dropped to 5-11 overall after frustrating losses to Lafayette and Drexel this past weekend. The team’s three losses last week were all 4-3 matches.

Yet head coach Bob Batman was impressed with his team’s composure throughout the tough week. “I can say that as a team they battled hard to the very end in every match,” Batman said. “In the St. Joseph’s and Drexel matches we were down early, supported each other and did not give up. Although things did not go our way, the guys continue to have a positive attitude and work ethic going into our final week of competition.”

Villanova came out strong in the Lafayette match, sweeping the doubles play. No. 1 doubles Ryan Devine and Lucas Kaster and No. 2 doubles Brad Adams and John Toppel each won their matches by an 8-2 count. Ricardo Baraldi and Justin Goulet finished doubles play with an 8-6 win.Unfortunately, only Baraldi and Carl Fenzel could muster wins in singles play. Baraldi won 6-3, 6-1, while Fenzel needed three sets to put away Lafayette’s Peter Titus, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.

The team again came up just short at Drexel, losing another 4-3 match. This time, it was the firepower of singles victories by Baraldi, Kaster and Andy O’Neil providing the team’s only points. The team couldn’t steal the doubles matches or recover from losing the first three singles matches.

The men next games are this weekend, when they play Saturday at Connecticut and Sunday at Boston College.