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Women’s Tennis Defeats Lafayette 4-2, Men’s Tennis Goes 0-2 in Midwest

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Villanova women’s tennis withstood cold and windy conditions to defeat Lafayette, 4–2, on March 22.

On Friday, March 22, Villanova women’s tennis secured a 4-2 victory against Lafayette. The same day, men’s tennis fell, 5-2, to Xavier on Friday and fell, 7-0, to Butler the following day. 

Friday’s win against Lafayette was particularly challenging due to the cold outdoor temperatures and strong winds in Easton, PA. 

“The conditions were brutal,” head coach Steve Reiniger said. “When we played, it had to be around 40 degrees. It was tough on the players, but they stuck it out.” 

In doubles play, senior Bella Steffen and freshman Jenna Stevens at first singles were narrowly defeated in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7).

“They just had some unlucky breaks go against them,” Reiniger said.

Second doubles pairing freshman Lauren Monti and junior Valieriia Kornieva, despite being down, 5-2, achieved an impressive comeback to send the match into a tiebreaker. The duo ultimately fell short, 7-6 (5). 

In the final doubles matchup, junior Emma Brogan and freshman Maddie Hills teamed up to execute a decisive victory, 6-1.

Singles play also featured strong performances by the ‘Cats. 

Monti stepped up in first singles, dominating her match, 6-3, 6-4. 

Sophomore Maggie Gehrig is back for the Wildcats in the second position after her recent absences due to illness. Her competitive match ended with a DNF (did not finish) result at 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-6.

In the third position, Kornieva won an impressive tiebreak victory, 6-4, 2-6, 10-8. Hills fell in the fourth spot, 6-1, 6-4, and Brogan defeated her opponent in the fifth position, 6-3, 6-3. Steffen secured the final point for Villanova, dominating her opponent, 6-1, 6-2. 

“It was definitely a team win,” Reiniger said. “The players all stepped up despite the conditions and played pretty well, so I was happy.”

Up next, the team is set to take on Johns Hopkins and Drexel on April 3 and 4, respectively, at home. 

Following its tough loss against Loyola, Villanova men’s tennis was eager to bounce back against Big East foes Xavier and Butler on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23.

Despite falling to Xavier, 5-2, and Butler, 7-0, the team’s overall performance demonstrated energy and improvement. 

“I thought their approach was a hundred times better than where it was a week ago,” head coach Brad Adams said. “It’s a very hard thing to do coming off a loss, but I think their approach going through the season is changing and [the Loyola match] was a wake-up call for us.”

At Xavier, every doubles match was competitive. Despite trailing in some early breaks, all three pairings put up an impressive fight and nearly came away with victories.  

In the first position, freshmen Will Monahan and Justin Frattarelli fell, 6-2. Senior Josh Robinson and freshman Thomas Wakefield were unable to finish, ending on serve at 6-5. In the final spot, seniors Noah Winton and Eitan Khromchenko played a competitive match, but ultimately fell, 6-4.

“I was very impressed with the energy they brought in doubles against Xavier,” Adams said.

In singles, Robinson was defeated in the one spot, 6-4, 6-2, and Monahon fell in the second position, 6-2, 6-4. 

In the third spot, Khromchenko beat his opponent in a competitive, three-set battle. After dropping the first set 6-2, Kromchenko responded by winning the next two, 6-4, 11-9. 

“Khromchenko is having a great year,” Adams said. “He picked up another quality win.”

Senior Ryan Nguyen dropped in the fourth position, 6-2, 6-3, while sophomore Cooper Gordon fell, 6-3, 6-4, in the fifth spot. In the final matchup, junior Lukas Choi dominated his opponent, 6-2, 6-3, to earn Villanova their second singles point. 

The following day, the ‘Cats traveled to Indianapolis to take on Butler, resulting in a 7-0 loss

Similar to their Xavier matchup, both doubles and singles play consisted of hard-fought matches by the Wildcats. 

In first doubles, Monahan and Frattarelli fell, 6-2. Robinson and Gordon played a close match but were narrowly defeated in a tiebreak, 7-6 (2). In the final spot, Khromchenko and Winton outperformed their opponents in a 6-4 victory.

In singles, Robinson dropped, 6-1, 6-3, in the first spot. Monahan played a sharply contested, three-set match, but ultimately fell, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 10-8. Khromchenko in the third position was defeated 6-0, 6-2. 

Both Nguyen in the fifth spot and Choi in the sixth spot fell to their respective opponents, 6-4, 6-1. In the final spot, Frattarelli ultimately dropped in a contentious three-set match, 2-6, 6-0, 10-4. 

“Overall, I thought we did a lot better than previous weeks and we showed some growth mentally as well as maturity-wise on the court,” Adams said. “Even with the two losses, I was impressed with how the guys battled.”

The team hopes to carry the energy into three upcoming home matches this weekend. The ‘Cats will take on Coppin State on Thursday, Bryant on Friday and Big East rival St. John’s on Saturday. 

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