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Men’s Tennis Sweeps F&M, 7–0, Women’s Tennis Falls, 4–3, to Bucknell

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Women’s tennis fell 4–3 in a close match against Bucknell.

On Friday, Feb. 23, men’s tennis hosted and defeated Franklin and Marshall in a triumphant, 7-0 sweep. The following day, the women’s team played an away match at Bucknell and dropped a close, 4-3 decision. 

“Overall, I think it was a solid performance,” men’s head coach Brad Adams said of the win over F&M. “I think we played a lot better, especially in doubles, which has been sort of a weakness for us this year.”

All three doubles matches ended in narrow, yet well-earned victories by the Wildcats. 

“They were tight matches, but I think as teams, they really bonded and gelled to get hard-fought wins,” Adams said. 

For the first spot, Villanova senior Josh Robinson and freshman Thomas Wakefield defeated pairing Zac Ashtiani and Anthony Casale and won, 7-5. The second doubles pairing, freshman Will Monohan and junior Lukas Choi, also executed a 7-5 victory over Gonzalo Gentou and Pedro Norte. In third doubles, sophomore Cooper Gordon and senior Eitan Khromchenko played an especially hard-fought match, eventually beating Luke Brodsky and Campbell Gervais in a tiebreaker, 7-6. 

In singles play, Robinson dominated Ashtiani in the first position, winning, 6-2, 6-1. The second singles match between Nguyen and Brodsky was much more competitive. Despite losing the first set, 2-6, Nuygen secured a victory by rallying to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-3. 

“Getting his second win and playing at that high level was very impressive,” Adams said. 

In the final three singles spots, all three Wildcats executed dominant performances. Monohan defeated Samuel Donelly, 6-3, in both sets. Khromchenko continued his winning streak in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, and Choi defeated Norte in a pro set, 8-3.  

Up next, the Wildcats are set to compete in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championship in La Jolla, CA on Feb. 29. 

“It’s a long tournament and a long couple days, so we’re focused on making sure our bodies are healthy and ready to go for an eight-day stretch out in California,” Adams said. 

The following day, Saturday, Feb. 24, the women’s team traveled to Bucknell to take on the Bison, resulting in a close, 3-4 loss. 

“It was a disappointing match,” women’s head coach Steve Reiniger said. “I felt like we should’ve won.”

In the first doubles pairing, graduate students Ami Grace Dougah and Amanda Rivera-Gonzalez skillfully secured the lone, 6-3 win over Whitney King and Abby Platt. Sophomore duo Maggie Gehrig and Emi Callahan fell, 6-4, in the second spot to Tyne Miller and Anna Lajos, whilst senior Bella Steffen and freshman Jenna Stevens dropped, 6-1, to Madi Sebulsky and Caroline Marcus. 

To kick off the singles matches, Dougah once again asserted dominance in an impressive, 6-4, 6-1 performance over King. Reiniger regards her leadership and attitude as an inspiration for the rest of the team.

“She makes no excuses, makes great in-game adjustments and is always positive,” Reiniger said. “She’s definitely a bright spot [of the match].” 

Another positive highlight for Villanova was sophomore Maggie Geherig’s competitive, three-set victory over Lajos, 6-7, 7-5, 6-2. 

“She’s done that in the last couple of matches where she’s dug herself a hole but fought to get back out of it, which is good to see,” Reiniger said.   

In third singles, freshman Miriam Gondorova was bested, 6-2, in both sets by Platt. Freshman Lauren Monti answered with an impressive, 6-1, 6-2 victory in the sixth spot over Bucknell’s Tori Allen. Subsequently, fifth singles player, Emi Callahan, fell to Mair, 6-2, 7-5. 

With both teams tied at 3-3, the outcome of the match came down to the fourth singles spot between junior Valieriia Kornieva and Bucknell’s Miller. After two sharply contested sets, Kornieva was outlasted by Miller in the third set, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. The team’s record is now 2-7, overall. 

Next week, the women’s team will be traveling to Orlando, Florida for matches, beginning with Creighton University and Stonehill College on March 6.

“One thing about our team is that effort is never an issue,” Reiniger said. “Neither is attitude. They’re always trying to pick each other up and support one another. So hopefully we can turn it around starting in Orlando.”   

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