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Women’s Tennis Wins Goes 2–1 Over the Weekend

Natalie Zickel
Villanova defeated Monmouth and Loyola on Sunday, March 17.

On Saturday, March 16, Villanova women’s tennis played a match at Army and fell, 4–0. The following day, VU won both of its matches at home, defeating Monmouth, 4–3, and Loyola, 5-2.

The weekend kicked off with a tough matchup against Army. The match was especially challenging because Villanova was missing several key players from its lineup. Notable absences included the first and second singles players, graduate student Ami Grace Dougah and sophomore Maggie Gehrig.

Despite the sweep, the Wildcats were strong overall. 

“I don’t think we could have done any better in that match,” head coach Steve Reiniger said. “With us being out so many players, I thought we did as well as we could.” 

In doubles, freshmen Miriam Gondorova and Lauren Monti were defeated in the one spot, 6–3. Meanwhile, the third doubles pairing of graduate Amanda Rivera-Gonzalez and freshman Maddie Hills fell, 6–1. The second doubles match ended in a DNF (did not finish) result, with Wildcat duo freshman Jenna Stevens and junior Emma Brogan down, 5–1. 

Villanova was subsequently defeated by Army in the third, fifth and sixth singles spots, which gave Army the victory before the other positions could finish their matches. All three unfinished singles matches were competitive, ending in split sets. 

In first singles, Gondorova dropped the first set 6–4, but took the second, 7–5. In the second, Stevens also lost her first set and rallied to win the second, 6–3, 5–4. In the fourth spot, Hills took her first set, 7-6, and ended her second set down, 3–2.

The following day, the team met Monmouth and Loyola. The Wildcats faced a similar situation as the Army match, with several key players missing due to academic commitments, injuries or other health-related issues. 

Despite the challenge, Reiniger was confident in the team’s ability. 

“I told the team that if they played as well as they did at Army they would be fine,” Reiniger said. “And they did. I was pleased they got it done.”

Dougah returned for the ‘Cats, teaming up with Gondorova in first doubles to win, 6–4. Stevens and senior Bella Steffen defeated Monmouth, 6–2, in the second spot. The third doubles match with Wildcat duo Rivera-Gonzalez and junior Chloe Floyd ended in a tied, 5–5 DNF result. 

In singles, Dougah and junior Valieriia Kornieva defeated Monmouth in the first and second positions respectively. Kornieva’s hard-fought match was the decisive victory for the Wildcats, which came down to a third set tiebreaker, 7-5, 6-4, 1-0 (5). 

Third and fourth singles were narrow losses. Hills fell, 7-5, 6-4 and Brogan lost in a third set tiebreaker, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (6). Steffen won her fifth singles match, 6-4, while Rivera-Gonzlez fell in a third set tiebreaker, 6-7(3), 6-4, 0-1 (4). 

“I was really pleased,” Reiginer said. “It was good to see that some of our players who don’t usually get the opportunity to play were sharp enough to go in and step up.” 

The final leg of the double header was a match against Loyola. 

The weather was less than ideal. 

“The conditions were pretty tough,” Reiniger said. “It was pretty windy and it was easy to have an off day.”

Despite the poor conditions, the Wildcats still managed to orchestrate a 5–2 victory.

This time, Stevens and Steffen played in the first doubles position and secured their second victory of the day, 6-5. Rivera-Gonzalez and Monti dropped their doubles match, 6-3, while Brogan and Hills were defeated, 6-4. 

In singles, Stevens fell, 6-3, 6-0 in the one spot. Monti responded with a dominant performance in the second spot, winning, 6-2, 6-4. Kornieva played her second competitive match of the day and, once again, emerged with a three-set victory, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. 

The final three singles matches were favorable for the Wildcats. Hills emerged victorious in the four position, 7-5, 6-4, Brogan won in fifth singles, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 and Steffen secured the Wildcat’s final three-set victory, 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.

“My message to the team would be to maintain what they’ve done over the weekend,” Reiniger said.  “We’re trending in the right direction and those who haven’t played a lot this season are stepping up and helping the team out, which is appreciated and expected.”

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Natalie Zickel
Natalie Zickel, Co-Digital Editor

Natalie Zickel holds the position of Co-Digital Editor in 2024. Entering her second year in this role, she is a sophomore Communication major aspiring to specialize in Journalism and Media Production. When Natalie isn’t creating graphics and TikToks for The Villanovan, she is taking pictures for the photography section or filming basketball games for Villanova Television. Her favorite article of clothing is fun patterned pants, which she loves to coordinate with earrings.

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