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Advantage at home aids in preparation for unfamiliar foe

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.

“I would say we’ve won about 90 to 95 percent of our home matches since I’ve been here,” said 11th-year head coach Ben Bucca. “It’s always great to play in an environment that you’re comfortable in.”

An impressive home record under Bucca has provided Rutgers with some confidence when it plays on familiar grounds.

“We’re definitely going to be more relaxed when we play because it’s a home match,” said senior co-captain Stefania Balasa. “We’re just trying to pick up as many wins before spring break and keeping up our success throughout the rest of the month and into April, where we play more conference opponents.”

While winning at home is special, winning in general is difficult and provides a full-team effort from all players, according to sophomore Lindsey Kayati.

“I think a win whether it’s home or away is special,” Kayati said. “No match is ever given to you. You have to go out and try your hardest to pick up the win.”

If the Knights can add more wins against Bearcats and Delaware in the next two matches, they will hold a 7-3 record as they go into New Orleans for spring break.

That is the ideal situation that Rutgers hopes to get into.

“We’ve had some great practice this week and we’re going to have to keep that positive energy going in order to win on Friday,” said junior Lindsay Balsamo.

Keys to winning for Rutgers will be its doubles play.

When the Knights win the doubles point, they are 4-0. When they lose the doubles point, they are 1-3.

If the Knights can establish themselves with the doubles point, the odds are in their favor for the rest of the match.

“We’re definitely going to come prepared and get the win,” said freshman Farris Cunningham.

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