Women’s Tennis Competes in Thunder in the Mountains Tourney


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

The women’s tennis team gained needed experience throughout the tournament.

Aphrodite Dimopoulos, Staff Writer

This past weekend, the women’s tennis team traveled down to Charleston, West Virginia for the Thunder in the Mountains tournament. Competing against West Virginia University, Marshall University, St. Francis University, West Virginia State University and Radford University, the team saw tremendous improvement, boasting a combined 10 wins between Saturday and Sunday’s matches. 

On Friday Sept. 24, the team started game play at 9 a.m. against Radford and St. Francis. Doubles partners Emily Strande and Sabina Grigorian lost to Bossi/Chang of WVU, 6-1, and teams Olivia Kapp and Caitlin Fisher and Bella Steffen and Emma Brogan also were defeated by WVU, both by scores of 6-3. 

At noon, the team reemerged for singles play against Marshall. Strande, Brogan, Fisher, Kapp, Grigorian, Gabrielle Clairotte and Taylor Gould fell short to the Marshall Herd in seven well-fought matches. Chloe Floyd earned the first Wildcats victory, defeating Marshall junior Kara Joseph, 4-6 and 6-3. 

Floyd, a freshman walk-on, displayed tremendous athleticism throughout the tournament. These matches were her first in a Villanova uniform. When asked about the tournament, Floyd was candid about her nerves.

“As a walk-on, I was super nervous,” Floyd said. “But it went so much better than I thought. My freshman experience has been super good. All of the older girls on the team are super friendly and made me feel right at home right away.” 

Riding off of her singles success, Floyd paired up with Gould to face Grigore and Fisher of Marshall in doubles play and won, 6-2. This win to close out Friday gave the Wildcats much needed momentum to enter Saturday. 

Saturday, Strande and Grigorian did not let their loss from the previous day slow them down. The two played dominantly and won their match against Marshall, 6-3. Soon after, Kapp and Steffen fought to a 6-4 win, continuing the Wildcats’ success. 

At 2:30 p.m., Villanova began singles play against Radford. Brogan defeated Ifidzhen, 6-1 and 6-2, Steffen topped Brandow, 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 and Gould stopped Leahy, 6-4 and 6-4. These three singles matches closed out Villanova’s play on Saturday. 

Sunday, Villanova faced St. Francis and absolutely dominated in the singles matches. Strande, Brogan, Fisher, Steffen and Gould all earned wins for the Wildcats. 

Some stars of the tournament include Steffen, who recorded three singles wins and a doubles win, and freshmen Floyd and Brogan who, combined, had a pair of doubles wins and three singles wins. 

With a little time off from game play, the Wildcats travel next to Providence for the Brown Tournament that will take place Oct. 15-17.