Women’s tennis aces Villanova test

Bethany Blass, Staff Writer

Despite having two matches against Rider and Saint Joseph’s canceled due to weather conditions, the women’s tennis team was able to come back and earn its third straight victory by defeating Villanova 6-1 on March 24. Maria Cioffi ’16 and Stephanie Pino ’16 won No. 1 doubles 8-4. The Orange and Blue continued on to win five of the six singles matches.

“Tennis players really rely on rhythm and timing and it takes a long time to build up the necessary confidence in order to be match-ready,” head coach Rebecca Helt said. “This time of year, it’s really difficult for the players to get into a good practice rhythm because of outdoor conditions and lack of indoor training space. Each year, I feel like it takes us longer and longer to start playing the kind of confident tennis we’re capable of playing.”

Cioffi and Pino were No. 1 winners while Lisa Jouravleva ’18 and Michele Urbinati ’17 won 8-5 at No. 2. After a tough 6-7 first set in singles play, Jouravleva had a comeback in her final two sets with 6-2, 13-11 to defeat her Villanova opponent. Urbinati set the pace for the Bison with the first completed singles match for the Orange and Blue, defeating her opponent 6-1, 7-6.  Cioffi, Madeline Melch ’18, and Melissa Parks ’17 defeated their opponents to continue their winning streaks to three consecutive matches. Cioffi came out victorious with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win in an exciting three-set competition. Melch conquered her opponent with the same scores. Parks finished with a 6-4, 6-3 win.

“We just need to keep working hard and getting the most out of any time we get to be on court right now,” Helt said.  “Every match is vital time on the court that will lead to more confident match play as we head into Patriot League matches.”

The Bison have improved to 4-9 on the year after defeating Villanova. They will be hosting George Mason in a non-conference match at 1 p.m. on March 28.

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