Tough Week Results in Sweet Ending for Women’s Tennis


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova ended its weekend with a big win over Providence.

Lauren Armstrong, Staff Writer

Villanova’s women’s tennis team played UPenn on February 22, St. John’s University on February 24 and both Brown and Providence on February 25. It ended the week going 1-3. 

The team began the week in Philadelphia, taking on UPenn, losing 7-0. In doubles, Emma Brogan and Valieriia Kornieva took on Sabine Rutlauka and Eileen Wang (UPenn), losing, 6-2. 

Emi Callahan and Caitlin Fisher played against Iris Gallo and Maya Urata (UPenn), also losing, 6-4. “Emi Callahan competed hard and played some of the best tennis I have seen this season,” head coach Steve Reiniger said.

 The last doubles duo was Bella Steffen and Amanda Rivera-Gonzalez who were defeated, 6-1.

In singles, Brogan took on Rutlauka, but fell in two sets, 6-1 and 7-5. Callahan also went down in two against Wang, 6-4 and 7-6. 

Kornieva played against Gavriella Smith, and lost in two, 6-3 and 6 -1. Bella Steffe held a strong fight against Urata, but lost in two sets, as well.

Fisher faced Iris Gallo and fought well, yet lost, 7-6 and 6-1. Rivera-Gonzalez held Claire Zhang to a hard-fought three-set match, losing in three, 6-3, 1-6 and 10-6. 

After their hard fight against UPenn, the ‘Cats traveled to Queens, NY, to take on St. John’s. Villanova suffered another 7-0 loss, and then again when playing in Providence, RI against Brown. 

Despite the loss, “Brown [was] the best doubles of the season so far,” Reiniger said. “We were getting two players to the net more often than any other time this season. The girls are really stepping up their game this season.”

While the stat sheet showed losses, the ‘Cats were gaining momentum in their play as they took on Providence, pulling away with their first and only win of the week.

The match started off looking rough for the ‘Cats, as doubles pair Brogan and Kornieva faced Katie Mulvey and Vannelie Melendez, losing, 6-3. Callahan and Fisher challenged Darah Ross and Mae Abreu, also losing, 6-4. 

It was not until Steffen and Rivera-Gonzalez stepped onto the court that the Wildcats saw their first win of the week, 6-3. 

This strain of success continued, with five wins in singles matches for the ‘Cats. Brogan won in two sets, 6- 4 and 6-4. Kornieva won in three sets, going 6-3, 2-6 and 7-6. Steffen won in a swift two sets, 6-3 and 6-2.  

“Emma is playing her best tennis of the season. Her and Valieriia were very similar to their opponents but held to it and were able to come out successfully,” said Reiniger. 

Fisher also had a successful match going up against Mae Abreu, and winning, 6-4 and 6-1. Rivera-Gonzalez had an incredible match against Lauren Carson, taking home an easy 6-3 and 6-0 win.

Despite the hard week, the Wildcats now look ahead to this coming weekend as it travels to Florida to take on Creighton and Butler over Spring Break.  

“It will be a very exciting experience for the girls and we are hopeful for a lot of success,” Reiniger said. “I could not be prouder of how everyone played.”