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RU?falls short in Big East tourney

The Rutgers tennis team finished their season this weekend at the Big East Championships after losses to Louisville and Marquette.

The Scarlet Knights would see a familiar opponent Saturday in No. 8-seeded Marquette. Rutgers beat Marquette, 5-2, earlier in the season.

Marquette would surprise the Knights in this match, sweeping them with a score of 4-0. Rutgers saw some different individual matchups from the previous match with Marquette that ended up giving the Knights some trouble.

The match completed a successful season for the Knights in which they finished with an overall record of 14-9 and 8-4 in Big East play.

“Overall the energy against Marquette could have been better, but in the grand scheme of things, we had some really great matches and a really good season,” said freshman Gina Li.

Like Louisville, Marquette also played strong doubles matches against the Knights and took the doubles point early. Marquette would then control singles play, sweeping the first three points.

After defeating St. John’s in their opening-round match Thursday, the Knights were faced with a tough test Friday against No. 3-seeded Louisville in the quarterfinal round.

“We knew that Louisville was a strong team, so really the only thing we could do was to play our best tennis,” said freshman Gina Li.

Louisville swept Rutgers, 4-0, but the final score did not tell the story of the match. The Knights played strong and battled hard throughout the match.

“The Louisville match was one of the hardest-fought matches that I have ever played in,” said freshman Mariam Zein. “It was one of those matches where the score doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Rutgers played every position well against Louisville (16-7, 3-0), but the Cardinals were able to play a step above the Knights and take the victory.

“We really played our hearts out against Louisville,” Li said. “We had nothing to lose, and even though we lost, we all felt like we played some of our strongest tennis.”

Rutgers looked to bounce back in singles play after struggling in doubles but ended up losing the first three singles contests, which gave the match victory to Louisville and sent the Knights to the consolation bracket.

Louisville had strong doubles play and was able to take the opening point from the Knights in that segment.

The future is bright for Rutgers because they are not graduating any players this season. The same roster will be back and ready to play again next season.

The Knights now begin to prepare for next season, when they will look to improve on their 2012-2013 campaign.

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