Daniel Puryear, Contributing Writer
Tennis hosted a three-day weekend of home matches Jan. 18-20 as both the Men’s and Women’s teams faced off against Drexel, Campbell and Georgetown.
Women’s Tennis v. Drexel
Women’s Tennis played Drexel at 9 a.m. and Campbell on 4 p.m. Saturday. The team had no issue defeating their first match play opponents.
VCU used senior captain Anna Rasmussen and sophomore Melissa Ifidzhen in its No. 1 doubles match. The European team had a tight match against the Dragon’s Cristina Corte Gonzales and Ghita Benhadi but secured the doubles point for the Rams with a score of 7-5.
Sophomores Marina Alcaide Bakkari and Sofia Sualehe also cruised by their Drexel match-up, finishing first in doubles with a score of 6-1. Sophomores Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado and Kanako Yano fell short to the Drexel team of Salma Ziouti and Tara Veluvolu, 6-4.
Singles play came with a Rams sweep as Diaz-Delgado only allowed one point in her match-up, and Ifidzhen fought to the end with a 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 win against Drexel’s Marta Martinez. The 5-0 sweep of singles and wins in two of three doubles matches gave the Rams a 6-0 win in their first match play.
Women’s Tennis v. Campbell
The Rams defeated Campbell after taking down the Dragons 7-0 earlier in the day.
Rasmussen and Ifidzhen battled again in the No. 1 doubles play match-up and came out on top of their Fighting Camels’ opponents, 6-1. Sualehe and junior Noumea Witmus also needed little effort to defeat Campbell’s Lou Regen and Inma Ramon, winning 6-0.
Witmus fought till the end in singles and defeated her opponent, 6-1, (4)6-7, 10-4. The long-fought match for Witmus allowed for Sualehe to come onto the court also fighting past her opponent in a close one, 6-2, 7-6(4). The singles play gave the Rams six point in addition to their doubles point.
Director of Tennis and Women’s Tennis coach Paul Kostin was pleased with the performance of the team on Saturday and wanted to get back into the rhythm of matches.
“Just comes down to getting everybody to play. Next week, we play in the National Indoor, [UNC-Chapel Hill],” Kostin said. “It’s going to be a little tougher. This is a good warmup.”
Men’s Tennis v. Georgetown
Men’s Tennis defeated Georgetown 7-0 Jan. 20 at the Thalhimer Tennis Center.
The Hoyas did not let much get past them in doubles and kept up a strong play all the way until the last serve. Junior Javier Amantegui and sophomore Rayane Alami matched up against the Connor Lee and Luke Ross team of Georgetown, leading to a nail-biter, but VCU fell short, 7-6 (4).
Senior Arvid Noren and sophomore Inigo Torre Martin kept it close as well and were able to slip by Michael Chen and Charlie Sharton, 7-6 (5). Senior Philip Mobius and Inaki Rivero Crespo also mopped up their Hoya opponent with a 6-1 win.
Singles continued to be close with another strong showing by Noren with a 6-0, 6-1 win and Amantegui came back from his double’s loss with a 6-0, 6-3 win against the Hoyas’ Carlos Grande.
Sophomore Rayane Stable battled Chen, the strong doubles player for Georgetown, going into three sets and getting to 12-10 for the final. Freshman Stefan Petrovic faced off against Chen’s doubles partner, Connor Lee, and slipped out with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win.
Martin and Crespo beat their Hoya opponents 7-5, 6-0 and 6-2,6-2 respectively.
Women’s Tennis heads to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Tournament Jan. 26 to play North Carolina at noon. Men’s Tennis will host Richmond, its across-town and conference rival, at the Thalhimer Tennis Center, Jan. 24 at 2 p.m.
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