Women’s Tennis Finishes Fall with Fordham Invitational

Fordham Women’s Tennis rounded out its fall season by hosting the Fordham Invitational, seeing some more success, especially on the singles front, as they prepare for the Atlantic 10 season in the spring.


Aude (above) and the Rams battled through the ups and downs of their final event of the fall season. (Jessica Noce/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Women’s Tennis’ three weekend fall slate has officially reached its end after this weekend’s Fordham Invitational at the Hawthorn/Rooney Tennis Courts. There was no team scoring but a number of significant individual results.

Fordham had a two-week break coming into this event after defeating Wagner College on Saturday, Oct. 9 before Sunday’s matchup against the St. Francis College Terriers was canceled. This time, Fordham welcomed four schools — Providence College, Long Island University, Columbia University and Sacred Heart University — to the Bronx on Oct. 23 and 24.

The packed slate of matches began on day one in the doubles court as the Rams split their four matches there. The first win came, once again, courtesy of junior Avery Aude and Carlotta Casasampere, who are establishing themselves as the Rams’ lead pairing in the early going with a tight 7–6 tiebreak victory. Senior Valeriya Deminova won another doubles match, though this time alongside Loraine Bergmann, seeing her first action with Fordham in a 6–1 win over Providence. Deminova reunited with senior Nicole Li for Li’s first doubles match, falling to LIU’s Elinor Storkaas and Victoria Erechtchenko, who was recently named the Northeastern Conference’s Player of the Month for September. Sophomore Eleni Fasoula and junior Rachelle Yang fell 6–4 to another one of the Sharks’ pairings, Sofiya Kuzina and Valentina Dancenco.

Despite Dancenco blanking Bergmann in singles, 8–0, Fordham had much greater success there. All matches consisted of just a single set played to eight games. Yang defeated LIU’s Bianca Compuesto in a narrow 8–7 tiebreak, and Casasempere did the same against Providence’s Katie Mulvey. Then, the Rams cruised to a number of victories. Yang earned a second over Providence’s Morgan Warner, and Aude, Fasoula and Li all defeated their Friar opponents to round out a successful day one.

Day two’s singles matches saw a return to normalcy and a more mixed fate as Fordham switched its attention to Columbia and Sacred Heart. There, Deminova fell in straight sets to Rachele Rimondi before a number of hotly contested matches, headlined by Aude prevailing against Catie Sullivan, 4–6, 6–3, 10–7. Bergmann then earned her first individual win as a Ram, coming back after losing the first set for a 5–7, 7–5, 10–6 victory. However, Fordham came up on the wrong end of another three-set thriller, as Li dropped the third set 9–11 against SHU’s Aina Plana. Casasampere and Yang finished off the singles side with a pair of straight set victories.

Doubles was, again, not as kind to the Rams. Bergmann and Li formed a new pairing and delivered a 6–1 victory over Providence, but Fordham struggled beyond that. Deminova and Bergmann and Aude and Casasempere both fell 6–4 as Fasouli dropped her pair of doubles appearances, first with Li and then later alongside Yang. This second day saw another new set of doubles’ recipes for the Rams as Coach Sowter continues to look for the right ingredients there. At the very least, a number of players had multiple chances to take the doubles court at this invitational, hopefully leading to more experience and consistency in the spring.

And, just like that, Women’s Tennis’ fall campaign has reached its end with three combined events, only one featuring team scoring. Fordham has a long rest now until Jan. 29, when it will take on the University of Connecticut to begin the spring season, followed by a reencounter with the Long Island Sharks two weeks later on Feb. 12. Until then, coach Sowter and the Rams will have plenty of time to reflect on the fall as they hope to improve against Atlantic 10 competition.