Men’s Tennis Competes in WP Invite


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Ryan Nguyen (above) and Will Gatti made it to the championship doubles match in Flight 2.

James Haupt, Staff Writer

After a disappointing end to the Villanova Invitational, the men’s tennis team came back into action at the 12th annual Saint Joseph’s Invitational. The final day of play may have been canceled at the last invitational due to inclement weather, but the men showed up this weekend ready to play. 

The Saint Joseph’s Invitational is a yearly fall event for the Wildcats hosted by the fellow Philadelphia school at its tennis complex. This year, it took place from Sept. 24-26 and consisted of four single flights and two double flights. Each bracket contained 16 players or duos to compete for the championship and consolation. There were multiple teams alongside the Wildcats and Hawks, including Delaware, NJIT, Jefferson University, Marist and Morgan State. 

The Invitational was highlighted by freshman Tighe Brunetti for Villanova. He had a standout performance with a big win in the Flight 2 singles championship. He earned a 7-5 victory over Jefferson’s Germán López Andújar that resulted in Andujar’s retiring in the end. Villanova head coach Brad Adams was very pleased with Brunetti’s performance, as he exceeded expectations and demonstrated the great potential of himself and this team. This was a breakout weekend for the rising star, and he plans to build on this performance. 

Adams was also satisfied with the doubles team that reached the finals of its competition. Senior Will Gatti and junior Ryan Nguyen displayed their experience this weekend as they advanced to the Flight 2 Championship bracket finals. They would ultimately be defeated in this final match in a 7-5 nail biter by Marist’s Alex Thompson and Carlos Vazquez. Despite this loss, the veteran duo had a great overall performance.

In the Flight 2 doubles consolation bracket finals, Villanova’s duo of freshman Cooper Gordon and senior Justin Suarez fell short to the second seeded NJIT, 6-3. Senior Alex Kim also took part in the Flight 3 singles consolation bracket finals, losing to Jefferson’s Hannibal Borg, 8-2. 

Despite several teams and individuals falling just short on the final day, the Wildcats were ultimately successful this weekend. Adams viewed this tournament as a “building block towards the Spring Championships,” as the team displayed great improvement. 

Some other notable performers included junior Noah Winton and the doubles duo of Brunetti and sophomore Trey Fourticq. Winton was the first seed in the Flight 4 singles bracket, and he ended up reaching the fourth round. He fell just short to Delaware’s Nicholas Gore in a tough match. They ultimately lost to the NJIT’s duo of Amine El Kholti and Pablo Perez Ramos, 6-4. Despite exiting the bracket earlier than they hoped, the young and promising duo played well. 

The Invitational was a challenging tournament, as each team proved to be a worthy opponent to the Wildcats. 

“The quality of all the teams were great,” Adams said. They were equal across the board.” 

Adams also believed that despite this, the Wildcats had a great showing, and many members of the squad exceeded expectations. It was a valuable weekend for the Wildcats as they demonstrated their chemistry and skill in both doubles and singles matches. 

The team will return to the court this weekend when it travels to Bethlehem, PA for the Lehigh Invitational.