May 26, 2019 | 78° F

Trio of seniors attempts to fill void of departed leader

Photo by The Daily Targum |

Senior Jennifer Holzberg returns after a 16-4 Spring season as the Scarlet Knights' No. 2 singles player. She was also partnered with Amy'Zhang, who graduated last year, on the top doubles team.

The Rutgers women's tennis team is readying itself for yet another fall season.

Whether it's on the court, in the classroom or in the community, this Scarlet Knights team continues to inspire head coach Ben Bucca as the fall season approaches.

"We teach them to just do things the right team."

Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, the team will be without standout athlete, Amy Zhang, for the first time in four years following her graduation.

Zhang finished her senior season with a 16-6 singles record and earned a spot on the All-Big East team for the third year in a row.

Zhang also won multiple scholastic awards, including being named the 2010 Big East Scholar Athlete of the Year. She was also one of only 90 people worldwide to be named a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

There's no doubt that Zhang's presence will be missed on this team, but Bucca still has plenty of faith in his squad, which finished with a 16-7 record last spring and competed as a sixth seed in the Big East Tournament.

"The freshmen are the key," Bucca said. "Thankfully, there's already been very positive interaction with the rest of the players of the team. There's a very strong spirit right seniors." he said. "We have three quite accomplished girls in Jennifer Holzberg, Morgan Ivey, and Leonora Slatnick. Each and every one of them brings the complete package. They are dedicated to this sport and have been everything I could have asked for in terms of season."

After the scrimmage come the real challenges, as the Knights compete with the country's best in the Brown and USTA Invitationals, as well as the ITA Regionals.

"With strong play through the entire fall season, we'll be able to send a nice contingent of Rutgers players to the major ready."

Even with their biggest star gone, the Scarlet Knights are ready to compete and continue to find success both on and off the

T.J. Nagy

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