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Men’s Tennis Breaks Even, Women Go 1–2 in Busy Weekend

Senior+Eitan+Khromchenko+helped+the+Wildcats+defeat+Colgate+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+3+in+a+singles+match+that+came+down+to+a+tiebreaker.
Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Senior Eitan Khromchenko helped the Wildcats defeat Colgate on Saturday, Feb. 3 in a singles match that came down to a tiebreaker.

Villanova men’s tennis split a two-match weekend, traveling to Hamilton, NY to beat Colgate 4-3 on Saturday, Feb. 3 and then Bethlehem, PA on Sunday, Feb. 4 to face Lehigh, falling 2–5. 

Against Colgate, senior Josh Robinson and freshman Thomas Wakefield teamed up in doubles and won 6–4. Junior Lukas Choi and freshman Will Monahan lost 6–4, as did seniors Noah Winton and Eitan Kromchenko in the third doubles match.

The Wildcats rebounded in singles, with Robinson winning a two-set tiebreaker. Senior Ryan Nguyen fell 4–6, 6–2, 6–4 and Monahan claimed a key match against Colgate’s Ben Graham. Wakefield fell in the fourth spot, but Choi equalized the match after a three-set win (6-4, 4-6, 6-1). The match came down to the wire and the result was dependent on Khromchenko, who showed up and beat Colgate’s Falcon in an epic tiebreaker.

Against Lehigh, in doubles, Robinson and Wakefield opened up yet again and beat Lehigh’s Kleiman and Blekman 6–4. Monhan and Choi, along with Winton and Khromchenko, both lost their respective matches 6–4. 

In singles, Robinson lost a three-set match after a strong opening (7-5, 5-7, 2-6), and Nguyen dropped a match in the two spot. Monahan and Choi both lost, and Wakefield continued to win with a 8-4 victory in the five spot. Khromchenko won with a golden set, going 8–0 and winning back-to-back singles matches. 

The men’s team, building a 1–2 overall record, will next play on Friday, Feb. 9 on the road against Rider University.

The women’s team faced three opponents over the weekend, coming away with a 1–2 record in their dual matches with Lehigh, Providence, and Brown.

On Friday, the Wildcats traveled to Bethlehem, PA and lost in what proved to be a nail-biter, losing 4–3.

In doubles, freshman Miriam Gondorova and senior Ami Grace Dougah defeated Gaborik and Forkner 6–2, the second consecutive win for the freshman-senior duo in doubles. Both the sophomore team of Emi Callahan and Maggie Gehrig, as well as graduate Amanda Rivera-Gonzalez and junior Valieriia Kornieva, ended up losing 6–2 in double play. 

In singles, sophomore Maddie Gehrig won her first single match of the 2024 season after rallying back from a first set loss. 

Gondorova and fellow freshman Lauren Monti continue to outperform in singles. In the two spot, Gondorova won in two sets (7-5, 6-2) and Monti in three (2-6, 7-5, 7-6). Kornieva fell in the third set of her match, along with Callahan and Freshman Maddie Hillis, who made her spring debut. 

On Saturday, Feb. 3, the Wildcats traveled up to Providence, RI to open up Big East play for the spring season, in what would end up in a resounding 7–0 Villanova sweep against the Friars. 

“Our Providence sweep was without Miram [Gondorova], who is our number three player,” head coach Steve Reiniger said. “I thought the team did really well, especially in doubles.”

In doubles, Rivera-Gonzalez and Dougah led off with an impressive 6–0 win, followed by a 6–3 victory by Callahan and Gehrig and a 6–2 win by the newly formed team of Kornieva and freshman Jenna Stevens. 

Singles were all wins for the Wildcats. Dougah won in two sets, along with Gehrig in the two hole. Kornieve won convincingly in three sets (6-4, 1-6, 6-1) and Callahan swept her opponent in two sets. Stevens secured her first dual win as a freshman with a 6–2, 6–4 win and Monti won yet again in a dominating fashion with a box score of 6–1, 6–0.

The women’s team stayed in Providence and competed against Brown on Sunday, losing 6–1. 

The opening match of doubles in Callahan and Gehrig started but ended in a DNF (did not finish). Stevens and Rivera-Gonzalez fell 6–0, with Monti and Kornieva following with a 6–1 loss. 

In singles, Dougah led off and continued her successful weekend, pushing the match to a three-set win. Gehrig fell in two sets, along with Kornieva, Callahan and Monti. Stevens lost in a tiebreaker in the sixth spot, concluding weekend play.

Reininger was especially impressed by Dougah’s performance over the weekend.

“Ami Grace [Dougah] was our lone winner against Brown, she played lights out,” Reiniger said. “The way she represents our school on the court is outstanding and is unfazed by anything. She is a true leader.”

The women’s team, with a 1–5 record after the weekend, will travel to Temple for their next match on Sunday, Feb. 11.

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