Brandelyn and Lauren Fulgenzi are two of Las Vegas’ own that are competing at the highest level. Their skills were on display last weekend at the ITA regional championships in Fort Worth, Texas Sept. 22-26 where the Fulgenzi sisters took home a regional championship title, and qualified for the ITA national championships, which take place later this year. The Fulgenzi sisters won six matches over the course of five days, including a thrilling come from behind victory in the finals to win the regional title.
“Going into it Lauren and I were just like let’s go out, have fun and just play.” Brandelyn Fulgenzi said. “So being able to come out on the other end is just incredible.”
2022-23 is the first collegiate season where the Fulgenzi duo will be playing together regularly. The Fulgenzi sisters played just five doubles matches during the 2020-21 season before an injury to Brandelyn took away the remainder of that season and all of the 2021-22 campaign. Now in Bandelyn’s final season she’s getting to play alongside her sister in doubles competition, and they are showing that they can do it at the highest level.
“Everything we’ve worked for is starting to come together,” Brandelyn Fulgenzi said. “It took a while, that’s for sure, but we never gave up on what we dreamed on in coming here, and now it’s coming true.”
A couple of weeks prior to the tournament the sisters got sick, but they took that time to write down and visualize some of their goals for the season. One of the things that they wrote down was to reach the finals of this tournament. They had believed that they could play at this level for some time now, but something, namely injuries, had continued to get in the way. Now, at full strength they are proving to themselves and to everyone else that they can be one of the best doubles teams in the country.
“I know that most people don’t get to play with their sibling or anything like that,” Brandelyn Fulgenzi said. “We’re truly blessed to be playing alongside each other… we’re so close, so even in those hard moments in adversity and facing those challenges there’s no one else I’d rather be going through it with.”
This tournament title is something of validation for the Fulgenzi sisters. For several years now they knew that they could compete together at the highest levels collegiately, but were unable to do that, now they have proven to be the best doubles team in the region, and will surely be a force to be reckoned with throughout this season.
“This is just the start of what we’ve always dreamed of,” Lauren Fulgenzi said. “It’s really good to finally know what we’re capable of, but I think this is just the beginning, I think we can go a long way.”
Collegiately, the 2022-23 season will be the last season the Fulgenzi sisters play together, but their vision goes further than college tennis. Brandelyn and Lauren Fulgenzi have dreamed for a long time about playing professional doubles together. The two will play at the ITA national championships in San Diego, California on Nov. 2-6. They will also be playing together throughout UIW’s season where they will be two of the Cardinals’ top individuals this season. They each have a long way to go before that dream of playing together professionally is accomplished, but they appear to be on the right track.
The come from behind victory over the fourth ranked doubles team from Texas Tech made the Fulgenzi sisters the first athletes from UIW to qualify for the ITA national championships. Brandelyn and Lauren Fulgenzi are two of the best athletes to come out of Las Vegas in recent years, and now this home grown duro is showing that they are one of the best doubles teams in the entire country.