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Tennis: Back-to-back away defeats break winning streak

<p>Sophomore Noor Judeh was one of only three players to win in singles play over the weekend, both losses for Rutgers.</p>

Sophomore Noor Judeh was one of only three players to win in singles play over the weekend, both losses for Rutgers.

The Rutgers tennis team competed in two road matches over the weekend, falling against both West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

“I think I speak for the whole team when I say we’re disappointed,” said head coach Ben Bucca.

The losses broke Rutgers’ (6-4, 3-1) four-match winning streak.

“They were both good teams, which we knew going into these matches,” said freshman Gina Li. “The travel this weekend made things a little tougher, but we gave it our best shot. Bad days happen sometimes.”

Pittsburgh (5-6, 1-2) racked up four singles wins Sunday against the Knights to take the match after dropping the doubles point. Rutgers saw singles wins from Li and sophomore Noor Judeh, as she increased her team-leading win total to eight and stand at 4-0 in Big East play.

“It’s just another reason to keep improving,” said Li about her team-leading wins total.

In doubles action, Li teamed with junior Vanessa Petrini, and the duo defeated Taylor Washington and Jocelyn Lu, 8-4. The doubles point came down to the No. 3 match — where junior Stefania Balasa and sophomore Lindsay Balsamo defeated Kimmy Borza and Karma Parbhu, 8-4, to seal the doubles point for the Knights.

The trip to Morgantown, W. Va., on Saturday proved difficult for Rutgers as well, as the Knights dropped five of its six singles matches. Li and Balsamo both had their four-match winning streaks snapped against West Virginia.

Freshman Lindsey Kayati picked up the only singles win for the Knights by defeating Emily Mathis 6-1, 5-0. The victory extended Kayati’s winning streak to five matches, only to have it ended against Pittsburgh the following day. Kayati is now 7-2 on the year.

West Virginia (4-7) swept the doubles portion of the match, winning all three matches against the Knights.

“We’ve worked hard and were playing well lately,” Bucca said about his team’s effort in recent weeks. “We had some stern conversations, and we know what we have to do to get ourselves back on the right track.”

Rutgers will have an opportunity to redeem itself tomorrow, when the Knights face Houston at home.

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