The Drexel University women’s tennis team continued their torrid start to the season with a 7-0 shutout win over Monmouth University.
The singles matches were mostly one sided in favor of the Dragons, which saw the freshmen clobber their competition. Kicking off singles competitions was Ryshena Providence, who nearly shut out her opponent, 6-1, 6-0. Fellow freshman Kendra Bunch followed up with 6-1 straight sets victories.
The victories kept rolling through as Lea Winkler shut out her opponent in 6-0 sets. Fiorella Coria duplicated Winkler with a shutout of her own in straight sets. Senior Aysenil Orhon continued the straight sets win streak, winning 6-1, 6-2. The Dragons were tested in the sixth and final match where Jennifer White won in three sets. After losing the first set 4-6, she roared back with 6-3, 10-4 wins. The challenges both started and stopped there as the doubles wins wouldn’t be as difficult.
Nicole Pivonka and Clary Rodriguez Cruz paired up for the first game and won in a close shutout, 8-1. Erin Bowsher and Winkler completed the shutout winning 8-0 in the second game, ensuring the point for the Dragons. With the third doubles match seemingly moot, one would think the Dragons would be more likely to mail it in. Amanda Tilles and White had different plans, as the duo won the match, 8-3. The win represents a complete sweep of Monmouth as the Dragons have now beaten the Hawks for the 10th consecutive season.
The win gives the Dragons their first win of the season on top of the individual titles that they’ve won in the Saint Joseph’s University and Villanova University invitationals. They now take their talents to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Regionals in West Haven, Connecticut, Oct. 16-21.
Going forward, coach Mehdi Rhazali had some thoughts for the women’s team heading into the ITA regionals: “I think due to our strong performance at Saint Joseph’s and Villanova this year, more of our women’s team got selected to play at the ITA Northeastern Regionals. Senior Nicole Pivonka will represent Drexel in the main singles draw of singles, while freshman Ryshena Providence will be representing Drexel in the qualifying singles draw. In doubles we have Nicole Pivonka [and] Clary Rodriguez Cruz as well as Lea Winkler and Erin Bowsher representing Drexel in the main draw of doubles.”
The men’s team will go to the ITA Northeast Regionals in New York City borough Queens, during the same time. Coach Rhazali revealed that they will be without their best player, Badr Ouabdelmoumen, however.
“On the men’s side, senior Badr Ouabdelmoumen will be missing this year’s ITAs due to a shoulder injury. However, the ITA Regionals has selected Alex Fioravante to play in the main draw singles and Xabier Saavedra to play in the qualifying draw. In doubles, Dan Koehler will be teaming up with Alex Fioravante to represent Drexel in the main draw doubles.”
The men’s team will play their first official game Oct. 26 where they’ll meet up against Saint Peter’s University.