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A tough loss to Delaware last year has the Rutgers tennis team motivated to bounce back this season. The Blue Hens (3-3) beat the Scarlet Knights (6-3, 1-1 AAC) by a score of 4-3 in 2013. “They played us over well last year so we’ve got to come ready to play,” said head coach Ben Bucca.
Sophomore Lindsey Kayati said Rutgers will not overlook Delaware despite its 3-3 record. Rutgers seeks redemption from last year’s loss to the Blue Hens.
The Rutgers tennis team earned a decisive 6-1 victory against Binghamton (2-6) on Friday at the East Brunswick Racquet Club. A three-game winning streak gives the Scarlet Knights an impressive 6-3 record as they begin the stretch run of the season. Rutgers started off hot by dominating the doubles matches. Head coach Ben Bucca said he made some adjustments after its 6-1 loss Feb. 21 to Louisville, and it has made a big difference considering the Knights have not lost since that match.
Senior Vanessa Petrini credited the Knights’ aggressive strategy in doubles matches for the team’s three-game winning streak.
The Binghamton Bearcats are an unfamiliar foe for the Rutgers tennis team, as the two teams have not played each other in four seasons. Binghamton (2-5) travels to play the Scarlet Knights (5-3, 1-1) tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the East Brunswick Racquet Club. Although their opponent is an unknown, the Knights do know that they have success when playing at home.
Rounding out their six-match road trip, the Rutgers tennis team defeated Cornell on Saturday afternoon, 4-3, in Ithaca, N.Y. It was the Scarlet Knights’ second consecutive 4-3 victory, as they beat Cincinnati by the same score Feb. 23. The Scarlet Knights (5-3, 1-1) swept all three of their doubles matches led by the pairings of senior Vanessa Petrini and sophomore Lindsey Kayati, junior Lindsay Balsamo and sophomore Mariam Zein and senior Stefania Balasa and sophomore Gina Li.
Senior Vanessa Petrini won her singles match Saturday 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, in the Knights’ 4-3 victory over Cornell.
With a tough matchup against Cornell on the horizon, the Rutgers tennis team (4-3, 1-1) will try to make some adjustments this week in practice to prepare for tomorrow’s match in Ithaca, N.Y. “We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the things that we struggled with last weekend,” said junior Lindsay Balsamo. “This is definitely a match we would like to win.”
Junior Lindsay Balsamo said the Knights need to focus on improving issues they struggled with last weekend, where they went 1-1. Balsamo is 2-1 on the season in singles competition.
A string of strong performances lifted the Rutgers tennis team to a hard-fought road victory Sunday at AAC rival Cincinnati, 4-3. The win came two days after the Scarlet Knights’ (4-3, 1-1) lost a tough match against Louisville, 6-1. Sophomore Lindsey Kayati holds the team best for a singles matches after she improved to 6-1 following a strong win against Cincinnati’s Katya Bure by a score of 6-1, 6-3.
While a weekend filled with matches is nothing out of the ordinary for the Rutgers tennis team, this weekend features some unique challenges. For one, it must travel to play Louisville and Cincinnati, which are not exactly a short drive away. Because of this, the Scarlet Knights left Thursday before their Friday match.
A 4-3 record from the opposing Princeton Tigers normally would not point toward a particularly tough match today in Princeton, N.J. But when that team has beaten the Rutgers tennis team in 11 consecutive meetings, that is an obvious trend that the Scarlet Knights hope to end. “Princeton is extremely strong in all facets of the game,” said head coach Ben Bucca.
The Rutgers tennis team delivered a 6-0 upset victory against Army on Sunday in West Point, N.Y., which was the first loss of the season for the Black Knights. The Scarlet Knights improved their record to 3-1 on the season while Army dropped to 6-1. Rutgers came out of the gate firing as it won two out of the three doubles matches before winning five of six singles matches, with one ending in a no decision.
Junior Lindsay Balsamo lost the second doubles match Sunday against Penn, but rebounded well by winning her singles match.
The Rutgers tennis team lost its match Sunday in Philadelphia, 6-1, against Penn. The score was not indicative of how the Scarlet Knights played, as their matches were competitive. But in the end, they came up short. “Penn is a very accomplished team with strong players, and they gave us a tough match,” said head coach Ben Bucca.
Senior Vanessa Petrini lost a competitive doubles match with a 9-7 tiebreaker. Petrini was paired with freshman Farris Cunningham in the loss to Penn on Sunday.
The Rutgers tennis team looks to extend its impressive start to the season Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., when it hosts Fairleigh Dickinson. The Scarlet Knights opened their season with a commanding 7-1 victory over Lehigh on Tuesday evening at the East Brunswick Racquet Club. The whole team performed strongly, including the team MVP last season — sophomore Gina Li — along with senior co-captains Stefania Balasa and Vanessa Petrini.
The Rutgers tennis team finally feels it has the firepower to compete with some of the top teams in the Northeast Region. The squad believes a combination of a strong youthful roster and constant strong competition led it to a position of success. Head coach Ben Bucca’s philosophy of beating the best to be the best rubbed off on his players.
Sophomore Gina Li was one of four Knights who qualified for the ITA Northeast Regional Champs this season, which was the most in program history.
As one season ends, another begins. The Rutgers tennis team completed a tough fall season this weekend and will begin offseason training to prepare for the spring campaign. Head coach Ben Bucca is proud of the way the Scarlet Knights performed this season in tournaments and practices. “I speak for everyone when I say that we are satisfied in knowing that [the team] really pushed forward and put forth a strong effort this season,” Bucca said.