Women’s Tennis Ends Regular Season with Loss to Army


Maia Balce (above) was one of two seniors celebrated with a short ceremony before the final regular season match against Army. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

After a season like no other, the women’s tennis team finished its regular season with a 6-1 loss against Army West Point. Before the match, Fordham honored its two seniors Maia Balce and Arina Taluyenko with a special ceremony. 

With two players out for ankle and hamstring injuries, the Rams were once again shorthanded for the fourth match in a row, competing with only five players. 

Army swept the Rams in the doubles matches, giving them the doubles point. In singles, Taluyenko won the only point with a win in straight sets: 6-4 and 6-2 over Stephanie Dolehide. This brought Taluyenko’s seasonal record to 8-1.

After this loss, the Rams’ record is now 5-4. With the regular season finished, Fordham will now travel to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the 2021 Atlantic 10 Championship, which will begin on Wednesday, April 28, at the USTA National Campus. 

When Piotr Banas, the current women’s head coach, was asked how the shortage of players might affect the team during the championship, he said, “There is a chance that junior Valeria Deminova will be match-fit in time for the conference tournament in Orlando. With her in the lineup, we will have a pretty good chance of making the final.” 

During the 2019 Atlantic 10 Championship, Fordham was the seventh seed and easily dispatched the 10th seed, George Mason University. The Rams moved onto the quarterfinals, where they were knocked out by the second seed, George Washington University.

As for this year’s competition, they are the fifth seed, and their first match will be against the 12th seed, Saint Joseph’s University, which the Rams comfortably beat earlier in the season with a 6-1 score. If Fordham is able to enter the championship with a full six-player team, they should be able to make a proper run for the title, which could give Fordham its first-ever in the Atlantic 10.