Knights earn tournament win against St. John’s
The Rutgers tennis team opened up the Big East Championship with a 4-2 victory against St. John’s.
The match was closer than the Scarlet Knights wanted it to be, but they were able to fight through to move the team into the next round of tournament play.
“I think today we started off playing some strong doubles and had a great start to the match,” said freshman Gina Li. “St. John’s played some really strong singles that we were able to battle through and [we] ultimately ended up with the win.”
The Knights took the doubles point with a 2-1 performance in doubles play. Rutgers won the first doubles match because of an injury retirement.
Li and junior Vanessa Petrini were the winning team in the opening doubles match. The duo led, 5-4, before the match Li and Petrini came back and won.
Freshman duo Lindsey Kayati and Mariam Zein won in their doubles match, 8-5. It was the deciding match for Rutgers to take the doubles point.
The No. 1 and No. 4 matches were the first to finish singles play and were both victories by St. John’s.
The Red Storm forced the Knights to battle back in singles play and their first singles victory came from Zein in the No. 5 singles match. Zein won her match in two sets, 6-4, 6-0.
Rutgers evened up victories in singles play when Li took home a victory in the No. 2 singles match. Li won her match, 6-2, 6-3.
The Knights took the deciding point in singles play with a victory in the No. 6 match by sophomore Noor Judeh. Judeh won the match in two sets, 7-5, 6-3.
Rutgers must now move on from this win to focus on its’ next match against No. 3 Louisville.
“We didn’t play our best match today, but we are definitely looking to up our game for Louisville for [today],” Li said.
The Cardinals (15-7, 2-0) come off of a dominant 4-0 victory against No. 14 Seton Hall.
Rutgers and Louisville have not played each other this season, as the Knights will look to focus on their own game and primarily on what they can control in this match.
“I think we just need to take it one point at a time, play our game and stay positive,” Li said. “Louisville is a team that I am not familiar with, so it will be a challenge that hopefully pulls out the best in us.”
Rutgers hopes for an upset victory that will send them to the semi-final round of the tournament this weekend.