May 24, 2019 | 60° F

Rutgers looks for 1st Big Ten win of season

The Rutgers tennis team will play its final two games of the season at home this weekend as it gets set to face Purdue on Friday at the East Brunswick Racquet Club, and Indiana on Sunday at the Rutgers Tennis Complex on Busch campus.

The Boilermakers (12-9, 5-4) and the Hoosiers (16-9, 3-6) will prove to be major threats to the Scarlet Knights (5-13, 0-9), who have not won a Big Ten conference meeting this season.

Rutgers expects to rally around its freshmen, Maya Jacobs and Isabelle Da Silva, who demonstrated two weeks ago that they can perform well on their home turf.

Jacobs collected her second consecutive singles victory against No. 38 Nebraska and followed that up with a doubles victory with sophomore Jaci Cochrane against Iowa. Da Silva also picked up her first Big Ten win against the Cornhuskers and followed it up with a consecutive home victory against Iowa.

Another player who has come up strong in recent weeks is senior Chloe Lee, who has remained competitive in most of her matches. The results paid off last Saturday on the road as she defeated Michigan State’s Aslina Chua in straight sets. 

Sophomore Kat Muzik also displayed tenacity as she battled her Spartan opponent Sara Kuuttila to a three set showdown, which ultimately ended in defeat.

Although the results tell a different story, Knights No. 1 senior Mingxiu Du continues to compete against some of the toughest tennis players in the nation. As Rutgers heads into the final two games of the season, it expects to remain aggressive and compete against more tough competition.

Purdue will be coming in after splitting last weekend’s meetings with a home win against Penn State, 5-2, and a home loss against No. 35 Ohio State, 2-5. The biggest threat coming out of those two games is the Boilermakers' No. 1 player Silvia Ambrosio, who won both her single matches and a doubles match against the Buckeyes.  

Indiana had a near identical record last week to Purdue, while also facing the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions, losing to Ohio State at home, 1-6, and defeating Penn State at home, 5-2. It will be led by senior and No. 4 spot player Xiwei Cai, who highlighted the Hoosiers performances last week as she picked up two consecutive singles victories in her final two home matches.

In order for the Knights to pick up a Big Ten conference win coming into the final two games of the season, it will take a major team effort. The plan for Rutgers is to keep fighting and remain aggressive throughout its matches.

For updates on the Rutgers tennis team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.  

Kwame Colecraft

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