Rutgers officially brings 4 players to singles play at ITA Regional Championships


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Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

The Rutgers tennis team will count on four players over the weekend in the main singles draw at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sophomore Jaci Cochrane and senior Chloe Lee represented the Scarlet Knights in the qualifier brackets Wednesday afternoon.

Both of these players needed two victories to advance to the main singles draw and join freshman Maya Jacobs, sophomore Kat Muzik and senior Mingxiu Du.

In the opening round, Cochrane faced Malin Leysen of Long Island University-Brooklyn in a match that concluded in a frenetic third tie-breaker set.

Cochrane dominated in the first set by a score of 6-2. Leysen recovered by winning a 6-3 second set and forced the match to a third set. With both of the competitors exchanging powerful shots back and forth, the result was unpredictable. But Cochrane overcame a slow second set to earn a 6-4 win in the final set and earned the chance to continue in the qualifier bracket.

Later, Cochrane confronted Rachel Smilansky of in a match similar to the previous one. Cochrane controlled the first set with a 6-3 score, but Smilansky bounced back with a 6-4 second set and took Cochrane to her second extended match of the day. The third set had both of these players in a test of early season endurance in which Cochrane managed to come out on top. Cochrane earned a spot in the main draw by sweeping the final set with a 6-4 score.

Cochrane will challenge Tiffany Chen of Princeton in a main singles draw contest slated for Thursday afternoon.

In the same qualifiers bracket, Lee struggled against Ghita Benhadi of Drexel. Lee was unable to move past the qualifiers and into the rest of the competition.

Cochrane joins the rest of the team and ties the program record for number of Knights in the opening singles bracket at an ITA Regional tournament.

Jacobs will try to earn a win over Anna Grigoryan of LIU Brooklyn in her second straight participation at the ITA Regional Championships while Muzik will attempt to reach the expectations when she sees action following a first-round bye.

Du is scheduled to meet Melanie Allen of Army and will try to improve a 2-3 singles record in this campaign for Rutgers.

For the doubles main draw competition, Du will partner up with Cochrane while Muzik will team with Jacobs.

Du and Cochrane are 2-2 as a doubles pair this season, while Muzik and Jacobs hold a 3-2 record sharing the court.


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Kervy Robles

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