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Tennis: Knights defeat SHU with doubles play

The Rutgers tennis team finished its home schedule yesterday with a 6-1 victory against rival Seton Hall. It was a match the Scarlet Knights (12-7, 4-2) needed to win after a loss to Syracuse in their last match.

“It is always a great feeling to win against Seton Hall.” said head coach Benjamin Bucca.

Rutgers dropped its first singles match, but the team controlled the pace for the rest time on the court.

“We started off a little bit slow, but as the matches went on and we fought through and came out on top,” said freshman Mariam Zein.

The Knights were able to win all three of their doubles matches despite the solid play of Seton Hall (5-11, 2-4).

Junior Vanessa Petrini and freshman Gina Li captured the No. 1 doubles point, 8-7. Freshmen Lindsey Kayati and Mariam Zein won the second doubles match, 8-6.

Rutgers took control with its play in third doubles, as junior Stefania Balasa and sophomore Lindsay Balsamo dominated the match with an 8-1 victory.

And despite a loss in No. 1 singles by Petrini — Seton Hall’s Chloe Sher defeated Petrini 6-1, 6-2 — Li, Kayati, Balasa, Zein and Balsamo all were able to control their individual matches on the way to the Big East victory.

“Overall, we played fantastic tennis in singles and really dominated while playing aggressive,” Bucca said.

This was a match that Rutgers could not lose as it continued its quest for a high seed in the Big East Championships.

Every match has been very important during their four-match Big East stretch, as the Knights are currently 2-1 during that span.

Georgetown serves as the last chance for Rutgers to improve its seeding for the tournament when the Hoyas host the Knights this weekend in their Big East finale.

This victory was a complete team effort from Rutgers, but it will take another strong performance like the one it received yesterday in order to succed in Washington, D.C.

The Big East Championships begin April 18 in Tampa.

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