Rutgers hopes for high seed as playoffs loom

<p>Junior Stefania Balasa said that Rutgers has a chance to do well in the Big East Championships, which take place April 18-21. She is currently 7-3 this season in singles action and 4-1 in Big East play.</p>

Junior Stefania Balasa said that Rutgers has a chance to do well in the Big East Championships, which take place April 18-21. She is currently 7-3 this season in singles action and 4-1 in Big East play.


After the Rutgers tennis team’s regular season concluded with Saturday’s 7-0 win against Georgetown, the Scarlet Knights shifted their focus to the postseason.

The Big East Championships will take place from April 18-21 in Tampa, hosted by South Florida.

Rutgers finished its regular season with a 13-7 overall record and a 7-3 record in conference play.

The Knights also enter the tournament with recent success in Big East play. Rutgers has won two straight conference matches and four of its last five matches in Big East play.

The Knights’ biggest motivator for playoff success is their most recent victory, a sweep against the Hoyas.

“Not only did we beat a quality team, but we did so playing strong tennis,” said head coach Ben Bucca.

Freshman Gina Li also saw the positives from match.

“We ended the regular season with a great match against Georgetown, and we are looking to continue that in the tournament,” Li said.

Although Rutgers can draw positives from its recent victory and its 7-3 conference record, it will have to wait until the conference releases the seedings for the tournament.

At this stage of the season, the Knights are looking to use what has made them successful in the regular season.

“Now this is the time to focus on our strengths and make sure that they are present when playing in the Big East Championships,” Bucca said. “We don’t worry about our opponents — we just focus on what we control in the match.”

Bucca stresses the importance of playing all of their matches with high energy, and junior Stefania Balasa understands Bucca’s emphasis.

“If we are able to play with the same kind of energy in the tournament that we did against Georgetown, then we should make a good run,” Balasa said. “We want to bring out our best play in the tournament — we did it before, and we know we can do it again.”


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