Men’s tennis secured its second consecutive conference championship, while women’s exacted revenge against University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who defeated the Rams in last year’s title match.
VCU faced St. Joseph’s University in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Quarterfinals in Orlando, Florida Friday — the top-seed men’s tennis team dominated the Hawks, closing the match up 4-0.
VCU swept through 4,5, and 6 singles courts in straight sets with wins made by sophomore Javier Amantegui, freshman Inigo Torre Martin and sophomore Ignacio Rivero Crespo. Amantegui picked up his 17th singles win this year while Rivero Crespo picked up a win in the doubles to bring the score to four for the Rams.
On Saturday, the Black and Gold reached the A-10 Championship match for the sixth straight season after defeating the University of Richmond 4-1.
Rivero Crespo and Martin claimed both singles and doubles wins to get past fifth-seed Richmond. Junior Arvid Noren clinched the win for VCU after winning a singles match.
The Rams kept on rolling in the final match of the tournament, defeating Dayton University 4-1 Sunday to capture their second consecutive A-10 title. Rivero Crespo racked up a pair of wins for the third straight match. Amantegui secured the championship-clinching point.
With the win over Dayton, men’s tennis advances to its 22nd NCAA Tournament in 28 years under head coach Paul Kostin. VCU’s depth stood out over the weekend, as the Black and Gold went a combined 7-0 on the 4, 5 and 6 courts throughout the tournament. Kostin praised his roster up and down following the title match.
“I think everybody played their heart out. After winning the doubles point, it helps, and the lower guys came through at 4, 5 and 6,” Kostin said. “I’m proud of the guys.”
The women’s tennis team started early this week as they competed in the A-10 quarterfinals, defeating eighth-seed Fordham College to progress into the semifinals.
Leading the path to victory was freshman Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado, winning her 17th singles match of the season.
VCU also received wins from sophomore Noumea Witmus in the singles and freshman Sofia Sualehe in singles and doubles.
Advancing to the A-10 Semifinals, VCU battled against fifth-seed Richmond to come out with another win, sending the team off to the finals.
Diaz-Delgado, Witmus, and sophomore Kanako Yano won points in the singles matches while Diaz-Delgado, Witmus, freshman Marina Alcaide Bakkari, and freshman Sofia Sualehe won points in doubles.
The Black and Gold continued their dominant weekend Sunday in the title match against the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The Rams downed the Minutewomen by a 4-2 final to capture the 2018 Atlantic 10 Women’s Tennis Championship.
UMASS took the doubles point early on, putting all the pressure on VCU to pull out the title in singles competition. Junior Anna Rasmussen joined Sualehe, Witmus and Alcaide Bakkari with singles wins Sunday afternoon — all four were victorious in straight sets. With the win, the Rams exacted revenge on the Minutewomen, who defeated them last year in the A-10 title match.
Jessica Wetzler, Staff Writer
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