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RU aims to improve AAC record against UConn

<p>Sophomore Lindsey Kayati said that the team has worked hard to obtain a good conference record. A victory against the Huskies would push Rutgers to a 3-1 record in conference play.</p>

Sophomore Lindsey Kayati said that the team has worked hard to obtain a good conference record. A victory against the Huskies would push Rutgers to a 3-1 record in conference play.

The Rutgers tennis team will travel today to face the struggling Connecticut Huskies.

The Huskies (5-10, 0-3) have won three of their last five, but have yet to put together a consistent run to solidify their AAC tournament seed. Their struggles have been in conference play as they have yet to beat an AAC opponent.

The Scarlet Knights (11-4, 2-1) have won eight of their last nine matches.

Sophomore Lindsey Kayati knows that Rutgers’ record is a product of its work ethic during the week.

“I think the key to our success has been that we work really hard in practice, and we’re always supporting each other and trying to help each other get better,” Kayati said.

Another victory would give the Knights a promising 3-1 record in conference play. That may prove to pay dividends in tiebreakers when being seeded for the conference tournament in mid-April.

Last season, the Knights pulled out a tough victory over UConn and Kayati wants to have that same feeling of satisfaction.

“Seeing that it’s a conference match tomorrow, it’s really important that we get that win,” Kayati said. “I remember last year’s match against them was a tough and competitive match. It ended with a win for us so we’re really excited to play them again this year to try and win like last season.”

The success that the Knights have had recently can be attributed to how the players react to their matches.

“Whether we win or lose, I know the entire team can take something away from each match,” said senior co-captain Stefania Balasa. “Sometimes, it’s something that we can work on to better ourselves and other times, it’s realizing certain things that work in each match.”

As a leader of the team, Balasa has implemented this mindset into the rest of the Knights and it has shown with their impressive play lately.

With just a handful of matches left, there is an emphasis on not changing anything that has been working for the past few weeks.

Freshman Farris Cunningham is not familiar with the history that Rutgers has with UConn but believes that the team should focus on looking forward.

“We never look back to past matches,” Cunningham said. “We want to take on each team with a fresh set of eyes and excitement.”

Although she feels like each match should be attacked with the same sort of intense mentality, Cunningham knows that conference victories mean more in the end.

“We treat all of our matches the same,” Cunningham said. “That being said, we know that conference wins always feel a little sweeter than most victories.”

For more updates on the Rutgers tennis team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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