Women’s Tennis Completes Fall Season


Sam Rabkin/Villanovan Photography

Chloe Floyd had a strong performance in her singles play.

Amanda McKean, Staff Writer

On Friday, Sept. 30, the Villanova women’s tennis team traveled to the US Naval Academy to play its three-day Navy Blue and Gold invitational.

The singles play did not start off strong for most of the Wildcats. Out of the nine players on the lineup for singles play, just five made it past the Round of 16. Sophomore Chloe Floyd was eliminated in the quarterfinals after only two sets, in which she won a total of three games for the entire match. Nevertheless, head coach Steve Reiniger felt that she showed real improvement.

 “I thought Chloe Floyd played the best tennis I’ve seen since she’s been here, and she’s a sophomore,” Reiniger said. “So her tennis is definitely trending up.”  

Senior captain Amanda Rivera and freshman Savarin Seebald were also eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing a grueling third set that was decided by a 10-point tiebreaker. The only two players for the Wildcats to make it past the quarterfinals were senior captain Taylor Gould and junior Bella Steffen. In the quarterfinals, Gould won the match in just two sets, only conceding one game. However after winning the second set in the semifinals, Gould was defeated in the third set by a 10-point tiebreak. Steffen made it to the semifinals, where she faced a similar defeat as Gould and lost the third set by a 10-point tiebreaker. 

“I thought Isabella Steffen probably had her best tournament,” Reiniger said. “I thought she played really well. She was working on stuff, so I appreciated the fact that she was trying what I was asking her to do and still competing which was great.” 

For doubles play, the Wildcats had three out of five of their teams make it to the quarterfinals or further. Steffen and Rivera won in the Round of 16 in a close match, but in the quarterfinals, they lost, 5-7. Senior captains Cailtin Fisher and Gould got a bye for the Round of 16 and won in the quarterfinals, 6-2. However, they faced a tough Navy team in the semifinals and lost. 6-1. The last team to make it far for the Wildcats was composed of sophomores Emma Brogan and Valieriia Kornieva. In the Round of 16, the pair won, 6-3, and in the quarterfinals easily beat a team from UNC by a score of 6-0. However, they went up against a talented pair composed of a player from Georgetown and another from the College of William and Mary and lost in a tiebreaker. 

Despite this turnout, Reiniger was still impressed with the overall progress of the team.

“When I brought the team together at the end of the tournament I kind of echoed the same sentiments I did at Army’s invitational,” Reiniger explained. “We’re implementing things that we didn’t do last year. The results are there. We’re more successful. Not that we’ve necessarily beaten a whole lot of teams. But we’ve been very competitive with teams we made not have been with in the past. Such as the Navy and Georgetown. Bella and Amanda  matched up against Georgetown in their second match and played very well and so did Valieriia and Emma. All five doubles teams did what I was asking, worked on different formations at the net, got two up a lot. Just I thought it was very positive. I was pleased as a coach.” 

Reiniger explained how he was less concerned about seeing wins and more about trying to implement things he tells the players.

This was the last tournament in the fall for the Wildcats, whose main goal now is to try to  correct their mistakes and get better.

“The fall is our practice season, time to get better,” Reiniger said.  “It’s hard to make improvements while you’re competing. It means something in the spring when you’re playing for your team. This is your time to be selfish and get better as an individual. I consider the offseason our practice season. I thought everything from singles and doubles is trending up.”

The Wildcats have a lot of time until the spring season starts, but Reiniger already knows what work is ahead of them.

“We’re gonna hit the ground running,” he said. “Right after we get back from winter break, I think we have a week of practice and then our first match. Our first match is at Princeton on January 20, and we get back to school on the 17th, so less than a week, so we gotta get to it.”