The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Women’s Tennis: Vanderbilt competes in spring season opener

The Commodores competed in the Miami Spring Invite this past weekend against UCF, Miami and TCU.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt competes against UCF, Miami and TCU at the Miami Spring Invite from Jan. 12-14. (Photo Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics)

After wrapping up its fall season with a dominant team performance in the Auburn Invite last November, Vanderbilt began its spring campaign competing against UCF, Miami and TCU. 

On Friday, the Commodores faced UCF in both singles and doubles. Vanderbilt split the doubles matches with the Knights, as Célia-Belle Mohr and Holly Staff picked up Vanderbilt’s first win of the tournament, and Anessa Lee and Bridget Stammel came up just short in their match. In singles play, No. 24 Stammel triumphed over opponent Sophia Biolay in straight sets, while freshman Valeria Ray won a grueling contest against Jante Tilbuerger: 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). Amy Stevens and Sonya Macavei were unsuccessful in their matches, both losing in straight sets. 

Saturday saw the No. 17 Commodores compete against the No. 21 Miami Hurricanes. Vanderbilt took three of the seven singles matches and one of the three doubles matches. The singles victories came from Mohr, Ray and Macavei, while the sole doubles victory was earned by Macavei and Staff. 

On Sunday, Vanderbilt competed in a slate of six singles matches and three doubles matches. All three Vanderbilt duos lost to the TCU Horned Frogs in doubles play, while the Commodores managed to win four matches in singles play through straight set victories by Stammel, Lee and Stevens and a three-set victory by Ray. This gave Ray, a Miami native, an undefeated performance across three matches in singles play. 

“I think it was nice for her to compete in front of her family and friends and just be at home. I think she really enjoyed that, and she was very competitive in all three matches,” head coach Aleke Tsoubanos said of Ray’s performance. “I think she’s grown a lot from the fall in terms of her poise on the court.”

Another standout from the tournament was Stammel.

Stammel was 2-1 in singles for the weekend, with her only loss coming in a three-set defeat to the Hurricanes’ Alexa Noel, a player who is currently ranked No. 25 in the ITA rankings and has been ranked within the top five in the past year. 

Additionally, the head coach mentioned how proud she was of Macavei for competing in the same tournament where she suffered a season-ending injury in 2023.

“I know [returning to the site of an injury] can always be difficult, but I think she did a really, really good job. She was eager to play, and she competed really well,” Tsoubanos said. “So, it was nice to see her settle in and embrace competition, especially being back in Miami where that happened a year ago.”

Overall, Tsoubanos was pleased with the Commodores performance, especially after such a long break from competition play.

“The goal of that weekend [back] is always to try to get some matches in to kind of reacclimate to competing again,” Tsoubanos said. “[We’re] trying to get a lot of match play in and get used to the volume of that, and I thought overall, we did a good job. I think that from the first day to the last day, there was improvement.”

The head coach also mentioned that, although the results may not show it, the Vanderbilt doubles teams were competitive while playing in the variety of different pairings the group was experimenting with. 

Looking ahead, the Commodores will aim to continue their growth with a strong performance at SMU on Jan. 21. 

Miami Spring Invite Results:  



Stammel (Vanderbilt) def. Biolay (University of Central Florida) 6-4, 6-1

Ray (Vanderbilt) def. Tilbuerger (University of Central Florida) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)

Saidenova (University of Central Florida) def. Stevens (Vanderbilt) 6-1, 6-4

Anique Kattenberg (University of Central Florida) def. Macavei (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-2


Mohr/Staff (Vanderbilt) def. Tilbuerger/Saidenova (University of Central Florida) 6-3

Biolay/Kattenberg (University of Central Florida) def. Lee/Stammel (Vanderbilt) 7-6 (9-7)



Mohr (Vanderbilt) def. Isabella Pfennig (Miami) 7-6, 6-1

Noel (Miami) def. Stammel (Vanderbilt) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

Audrey Boch-Collins (Miami) def. Stevens (Vanderbilt) 6-1, 6-1

Ray (Vanderbilt) def. Leonie Schuknecht (Miami) 6-4, 6-1

Antonia Balzert (Miami) def. Lee (Vanderbilt) 7-5, 6-4

Macavei (Vanderbilt) def. Maria Vargas (Miami) 6-2, 6-4

Xinyi Nong (Miami) def. Staff (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3)


Noel/Nong (Miami) def. Mohr/Lee (Vanderbilt) 6-1

Pfennig/Schuknecht (Miami) def. Stammel/Ray (Vanderbilt) 7-6 (5)

Macavei/Staff (Vanderbilt) def. Balzert/Boch-Collins (Miami) 6-4



Stammel (Vanderbilt) def. Isabel Pascual (TCU) 6-1, 6-4

Ray (Vanderbilt) def. Jade Otway (TCU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Lee (Vanderbilt) def. Destinee Martins (TCU) 6-0, 6-3

Raquel Caballero (TCU) def. Macavei (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

Chiho Mushika (TCU) def. Naomi Katz (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-2

Stevens (Vanderbilt) def. Vargas (University of Miami) 6-1, 6-2


Mushika/Yu-Chin Tsai (TCU) def. Mohr/Staff (Vanderbilt) 6-3

Caballero/Otway (TCU) def. Macavei/Ray (Vanderbilt) 7-5

Martins/Pascual (TCU) def. Katz/Stevens (Vanderbilt) 6-3

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Katelyn Rowan
Katelyn Rowan, Staff Writer
Katelyn Rowan (‘27) is planning to major in English and history in the College of Arts and Science. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her watching football, baseball or film adaptations of Jane Austen books, which she also rereads whenever she gets the chance. You can reach her at [email protected].
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments