Women’s tennis cruises through weekend slate, begins season 2-0

Graduate student Yu Chen prepares for a hit during her match against Georgetown on Sunday, Feb. 4 at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center in Williamsburg, Va. RYAN GOODMAN // THE FLAT HAT

Saturday, Feb. 3, William and Mary women’s tennis (2-0, 0-0 CAA) defeated Longwood (0-4, 0-0 Big South) 7-0 at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center in Williamsburg, Va.

The season-opener began with the Tribe earning the doubles point.

At No. 3 doubles, William and Mary graduate student Mila Mejic and senior Kensie Cricchio won 6-2 against Longwood seniors Sophia Marchetta and Nina Hederich. 

Cricchio attributed the team’s close bond to her success.

“We have worked together really well and have a common goal,” Cricchio said. “At the end of the day, we are all teammates, and we want to meet our goals.”

The No. 1 doubles team of graduate student Yu Chen and junior Emma Fernald defeated Longwood junior Karina Rizvanova and freshman Feline Van Eijkelenburg 6-2, clinching the doubles point for the Tribe.

The Tribe swept Longwood in singles, racking up six more points.

In the No. 6 slot, sophomore Yaelle Vaissaud won 6-0, 6-1 against Longwood sophomore Alexis Broderick, earning the first singles point for the Tribe.

At No. 1, junior Hedda Gurholt defeated Van Eijkelenburg 6-3, 6-2. Chen won both sets against Longwood sophomore Oriana Izarra 6-0 at No. 2. With the wins, both Gurholt and Chen advanced to 6-4 on the year.

Juniors Ine Stange and Fernald — ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively — topped Marchetta and Rizvanova 6-2, 7-5 and 7-6, 6-4.

In the No. 5 match, freshman Francesca Davis defeated Longwood sophomore Kashmira Manohar 6-1, 6-4, marking her fifth win of the season.

Following the impressive win, the Tribe faced Georgetown (2-3, 0-1 Big East) at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center Sunday, Feb. 4. William and Mary won 5-2, securing the doubles point and four singles victories.

Chen and Fernald defeated Georgetown graduate student Chloe Bendetti and freshman Katie Garofolo-Ro 6-2 in the No. 1 doubles match. Ranked No. 2, Gurholt and Stange earned the doubles point for the Tribe, winning 6-3 against Georgetown senior Olivia Ashton and freshman Tatiana Zelenko.

Garofolo-Ro won the first singles point of the match for Georgetown, defeating Mejic 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 and equalizing the dual-match score 1-1. Gurholt’s 6-2, 6-4 victory against Zelenko placed the Tribe back in the lead, but Stange’s 7-5, 6-1 loss to Georgetown senior Avantika Willy tied the score 2-2.

Ranked No. 6, Davis won her first set against Georgetown sophomore Paige Gilbert 6-0. Gilbert responded with a 6-1 win in the second set, but Davis defeated Gilbert 6-4 in the final set, earning a much needed point to lock in the Green and Gold’s lead.

At No. 1, Chen’s hard-fought 6-4, 7-6 victory against Bendetti secured the Tribe’s victory. Fernald won her first set against Georgetown freshman Emily Novikov at No. 5, but Novikov reacted with a 7-6 second-set win. Fernald’s third-set win cemented William and Mary’s 5-2 victory.

As the 2023 Coastal Athletic Association champions, Tribe women’s tennis hopes to extend its early winning streak.

“Doing well in the conference again like last year and the year before would be really great,” freshman Parker Debnam said. “We did well in the fall, so we’re trying to bring that into the spring.”

As a senior, Cricchio looks forward to her last season with the Tribe.

“It’s my last year, so I want to enjoy my last semester of tennis and just have fun with my teammates,” Cricchio said.

William and Mary women’s tennis will face Maryland (3-3, 0-0 Big Ten) Saturday, Feb. 10 at McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center in Williamsburg, Va.



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