Knights drop Johnnies in Queens
The Rutgers women's tennis team continued is success by defeating St. John 5-2 Tuesday in Queens.
Rutgers has won three straight matches and has been victorious in seven of the last eight matches. Freshman Jennifer Holzberg said that does not change the way they approach their opponents.
"We have to come in with the same mindset no matter who the opponent is or what happened before," she said. "We have to bring our best tennis no matter what."
The Scarlet Knights captured the always-important doubles point with two decisive 8-0 victories from senior Polina Zaretser and sophomore Amy Zhang at first singles as well as the freshman team of Holzberg and Morgan Ivey.
"[The Red Storm] didn't seem like they had much experience playing together," Holzberg said. "They weren't confident in their shots and they weren't confident in each other."
Zhang said the doubles point pumped up the Knights.
"We won first and third doubles in decisive fashion so it got the whole team excited. We just took that energy and carried it into singles," Zhang said.
RU rode that wave straight into the first round of singles play and swept the Red Storm's top three players. Zhang, Holzberg and junior Katherine Arlak ensured the team's victory with only one match going to the tiebreaker set.
"Winning the match so early did not change anything," Zhang said. "We felt like this was a team we should beat. The only question was by how much. We didn't hold anything back even though we already won."
Zhang and the Knights hope to keep this streak alive when they travel to Morgantown, W.Va. to take on West Virginia and Pittsburgh this weekend on consecutive days.
The Mountaineers are 7-14 (3-2 in Big East) and are coming off of a 7-0 sweep of Georgetown. That was the team's first win in the previous four outings and third victory in the month of March.
The 10-4 Panthers, on the other hand, pose a greater challenge for the Knights. They started their season on fire, winning the first seven matches. Most recently, Pitt lost to Syracuse in a 6-1 blowout, but that was their first Big East loss in five attempts.
"It doesn't matter how good the other team is. It can't change our preparation," Holzberg said. "We're going to continue to be ready and practice every day as hard as we can."