The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Now-junior Gavriella Smith during last season's matchup against Columbia on April 9. Credit: Nathaniel Sirlin

So far this fall, Penn women's tennis has shone in it in numerous Intercollegiate Tennis Association events, as well as several other appearances, including the Penn Invite.

At the Penn Invite to open the season, the Quakers had a strong showing with three singles players each winning all four of their matches, finishing undefeated. Freshman Esha Velaga was one of those singles players, and was also undefeated in each of her doubles matches during that competition. 

Velaga has proven to be a standout player this season, as she followed up this opening performance with a first place finish in the Green Bracket of the Tribe Invitational at William and Mary on Sept. 16-17. Additionally, junior Eileen Wang played in, and won, that tournament's Silver Bracket.

Fast forward to the first ITA event of the year at the ITA All-American Championships in Cary, N.C., Penn had an unsurprisingly tougher weekend with no one able to claim victory except junior Gavriella Smith, who won one of her singles matchups.

More recently, at the ITA Northeast Regionals a few weeks ago, multiple players fought through their respective brackets, but no singles players were able to make it past the round of 32. The best results came in doubles as the pairs consisting of senior Iris Gallo and Wang, and sophomore Maya Urata and Velaga made it to the round of 16. Despite neither duo advancing on to the quarterfinals, on the bright side, Velaga and Smith did qualify for the Super Regionals.

During the ITA Super Regionals, Velaga kept her winning momentum going, as she made it to the final of her bracket where she was matched up against her older sister Neha, representing Princeton. The Quaker defeated her sister 6-3, 6-0, and was crowned the singles champion. Smith also made it quite far, but ultimately fell in the quarterfinals. 

Even though conference play won't begin until the spring, Penn women's tennis has already showcased several of their strong performers. Velaga, with her victory at Super Regionals, will heading off to San Diego early next month to compete for the ITA Fall Nationals crown.