Rutgers extends losing streak to 5
The Rutgers tennis team lost its fourth and fifth consecutive matchups this past weekend, but freshman Maya Jacobs and sophomore Jaci Cochrane put up strong performances after matching up against two nationally ranked schools.
Both No. 11 Illinois and No. 9 Northwestern have had players ranked top 100 in the nation, with the Fighting Illini's Jaclyn Switkes ranked as high as No. 79 in February 2018 and the Wildcats' players Erin Larner, Maddie Lipp and Or Lee currently ranked No. 50, No. 51 and No. 92, respectively.
The Scarlet Knights (5-9, 0-5) matched up against Illinois (15-2, 4-1) Saturday at the East Brunswick Racquet Club and Northwestern (13-4, 5-0) on Sunday in Evanston, Illinois, falling in doubles and singles against each team.
Jacobs won her singles match against the Illini's Emilee Duong, her first victory in the Big Ten.
Duong won the first set 6-1, but Jacobs came back strong in the second set with a 6-2 win forcing a showdown in the second set. In the end, she claimed victory after winning the final set 10-5.
Cochrane was also engaged in a tough matchup against Illinois’ Sasha Belaya, ultimately losing two of three sets.
Cochrane took the first set 6-3, displaying emotion and intensity with an occasional “C’mon!” But, after two hard-fought sets, Belaya came out on top with a 10-6 victory in the last set.
Jacobs and Cochrane continued their gritty performances against the Wildcats two days later, but fell after two hard-fought losses.
Jacobs found herself down 4-1 in the first set against Northwestern’s Alex Chatt, who is No. 22 in doubles with her partner Lee. Jacobs fought back to tie it 6-6, but lost in the tie break dropping the first set. Chatt went on to win the match 7-6, 6-1.
Cochrane faced Wildcat Julie Byrne, dropping the first set 6-3, but came back the next set with a 6-3 victory of her own. But, in the third set the game she was retired with a score of 6-3, 3-6 and 1-0 in favor of Byrne.
Rutgers finished against Illinois and Northwestern, 6-1 and 7-0 respectively, but showed some resolve against two of the nation’s best schools. The Knights expect to continue that determination when they face Nebraska on their home turf on Friday at the Rutgers University Tennis Complex.
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