Scrimmage against ASA satisfies Rutgers

<p>Junior Mariam Zein played exclusively in singles matches yesterday against ASA. Zein said Rutgers learned from the match to not underestimate its opponent. </p>

Junior Mariam Zein played exclusively in singles matches yesterday against ASA. Zein said Rutgers learned from the match to not underestimate its opponent. 

When the Rutgers tennis team played junior college ASA in a scrimmage on a dreary Thursday afternoon, it was an opportunity to test new strategies created during practice.

And based on how the team performed and what head coach Ben Bucca saw, the strategies worked well.

“This [scrimmage] served its purpose perfectly,” he said in reference to preparing for the upcoming tournament at Yale. “There were times when we played some good tennis, but there were other times when we really played very strong tennis. So I’m very happy with not only how the team played, but with how this played out in our schedule.”

Score was not kept for the exhibition, but that did not deter the coach from showing his delight at how well the Scarlet Knights fared against the No. 1 junior college team in the country.

Furthermore, coach went specifically into the positives of the outing.

“Especially in the start of the scrimmage, our shot-making was very sharp and crisp,” he said. “We were hitting deep, penetrating balls. We were hitting the ball with pace and force when we should’ve, and there were other times when we were content to play a safe, high-percentage shot. So we used our shot selection in a very intelligent way, and that’s why, especially in the beginning of the scrimmage, I was so pleased with how we looked and how we were playing.”

Individual members of Rutgers gave their insight into how good their opponents were, despite ASA’s standing as a junior college.

Junior Mariam Zein, who played in singles exclusively, delved into what she learned from playing against ASA.

“I think the biggest thing we can take away from this scrimmage is to not underestimate any of our opponents because we could have come out here thinking, ‘Oh, we’re just playing a junior college’ and not come out and play 100 percent,” she said. “But in fact, they were really good, they were really good competition and it’s going to be the same moving forward. We can’t underestimate any of our competitors. You have to be giving it 100 percent and work on what you need to work on.”

Junior Lindsey Kayati was not even aware ASA was a junior college and said it was one of the better teams she has faced since joining Rutgers, regardless of it being a junior college.

“They’re very sound in their ground strokes, they had really good serves and they had good ball placement,” Kayati said. “They had a lot of good variety in their shots.”

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