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Yale tournament provides experience for upcoming invite

While the Brown Invitational was seen as a good opportunity to play against quality Division I foes, this past weekend’s tournament at Yale provided the Rutgers tennis team with a way to gear up for the ITA Northeast Regional tournament, which will begin Oct 16.

Many teams that competed against the Scarlet Knights, including Yale and Brown, will also be in the tournament. So as sophomore Farris Cunningham noted, Rutgers knows what it will take to post positive results.

“We competed against the teams we will see at regionals, so we know what we’re coming up against next weekend,” Cunningham said. “All of our matches this weekend were close, so we know that we can win these matches if we play our best tennis. We’ve been training hard all fall, and we’re ready to showcase our skills at regionals.”

Because of hard training throughout the autumn season, every player on the team had favorable results.

“We all competed really hard at Yale, and everyone on the team had a good win,” Cunningham said. “Most of our matches were very close, so it was nice to see that our team could compete at a high level against some of the best teams in the region.”

Rutgers as a whole got the results it wanted, but there was one victory in particular that proved to be the sweetest of all.

Among the highlights of this past weekend was a certain doubles team that was able to right a wrong from their first tournament a few weeks ago.

“I played doubles with Mariam [Zein] this past weekend and had a successful weekend with a lot of high-level, competitive tennis,” said junior Gina Li. “We previously had lost to Brown a couple of weeks ago, and we were able to come back and beat them this weekend, so that win was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.”

It is always gratifying to defeat an opponent that previously hand-delivered a loss in the last meeting. It shows how well players applied their lessons in future matches.

Learning from mistakes will assuredly make a unit better.

Another factor that helps a team play better is the support of teammates, which Li also credits for her and Zein’s success at Yale.

“Playing at Yale, we were much more in a team match play format, similar to what we would play in the spring,” she said. “At Brown, it was much more individualized as we played in our own individual flight. The tournament at Yale really let us get a taste of how the spring matches will look like, as we were able to play next to each other and cheer each other on.”

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

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