Women’s Tennis Wins A-10 Championship


Women’s Tennis took down VCU in the championship game to be crowned A-10 champions. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham women’s tennis team are champions. For the first time in the program’s history, the Atlantic 10 Championship (A-10) winners are none other than your Fordham Rams. It has been over 30 years since the program last won a championship in any conference, but the drought finally ended last week when Fordham toppled the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) dynasty and won by an impressive 4-1 score. VCU, who had won eight of the last nine championships and had a career 6-0 record against Fordham, was finally bested by this amazing group of athletes, many of whom are in their last season. 

Fordham had come in as a #2 seed, which was the highest in the program’s history. However, VCU was the #1 seed, and favorite for many to win the whole thing. Fordham did not back down even slightly, starting off strong by winning the doubles point. As they seemingly have all season, the dynamic duo of graduate student Valeriya Deminova and senior Avery Aude and the poised pair of graduate student Carlota Casasampere Escoda and senior Rachelle Yang jumpstarted the team to a 1-0 lead by winning their matches 6-4 and 7-6(3), respectively. Fordham has been strong in doubles matches all season, especially down the stretch as they had previously won the doubles point in their last four matches – all against A-10 opponents. 

The success continued for the Rams in singles play, with huge wins from junior Eleni Fasoula, Aude and Casasampere Escoda. With only one loss coming in singles play, Fordham managed to quickly end the match and clinch victory with their three wins. The game-winning point was earned by Fasoula, who has had an outstanding year as a junior. She is on track to be the only senior on the roster next year who has played with the team previously, and will become an important leader in a team with a larger collection of youth. 

This championship win caps off a strong season for the Rams, as they finish with a 14-7 record. It is an amazing story for the abundance of seniors and graduate students on the team, and the Rams aren’t finished yet. This conference win launches the team into the 2023 NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament, where the 64 best teams in the country all compete to win the National Championship. The path isn’t easy ahead, but neither was the road to make it this far. Fordham will be taking on the 16-6 Ivy Leaguers in the Princeton Tigers this Friday, May 5, at 1 p.m. 

Unlike some of its Ivy League peers, Princeton isn’t a common opponent for the Rams historically, so there is no regular season matchup to help predict how Fordham will fare. Nonetheless, Fordham will certainly be a tough opponent and will not be an easy out by any opposing team. History has been made for not only the team, but the program. This will be Fordham women’s tennis first-ever appearance in the tournament, and it is sure to be an exciting one.