Rutgers drops road match to Maryland
The Rutgers tennis team took on Maryland in College Park this past Saturday. The Scarlet Knights (7-12, 1-8) were looking to get their second Big Ten conference win, for not only this season but also in their brief history as a member of the conference, over the No. 44 Terrapins (14-5, 5-4). They fell short of their goal this weekend, losing the match 6-1.
It was a rainy day in College Park on Saturday. The day would not brighten for Rutgers, who entered the match right after a victory over Stony Brook, hoping to make it two straight wins, but failed to do so. The match started out with the doubles sets. These sets were imperative to set the tone and establish the energy for the Knights.
“Against Maryland, we have to find the right energy early on in the match and play good tennis from the start,” said junior Lee Levy before the match.
Rutgers couldn’t establish its energy or the lead in doubles. Junior Mingxiu Du and freshman Katherine Muzik were the first of the doubles sets to finish, losing 6-1. Their loss was followed by junior Chloe Lee and senior Ksenija Tihomirova who also lost 6-1, giving Maryland the doubles point and the lead.
The singles started off similarly to the doubles. Du was the first to falter, losing in two sets. The first set was 6-1 and the second was much more competitive, ending by a score of 7-5.
Tihomirova continued her struggling season losing in two sets by scores of 6-3 and 6-1. Lee finished next, also failing to score more than three points in two sets. She lost 6-1 and 6-2, respectively.
“All I can do is try and come out for the rest of the matches and be positive,” Lee said.
Muzik, looking for her ninth win of the season, lost in two sets by scores of 6-2 and 6-3. Freshman Jacqueline Cochrane fought valiantly against her opponent. She lost the first set 7-6 (4) in a tiebreaker. She then lost the second set in a close one, 7-5, pushing the score to 6-0 in favor of the Terps.
Senior Farris Cunningham chased for her fifth conference singles win, and her tenth singles win of the season. Last time out, she held her opponent scoreless in two sets, and she continued her strong play on Saturday. She downed her opponent in two sets by scores of 6-2 and 6-3. Cunningham has been the star player on the team and at times the lone bright spot. Rutgers looks to close out the season home this coming weekend.
“Unfortunately we didn't have the best performance today but we know what we need to do, and that is finish strong at home,” said head coach Hilary Ritchie.
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