PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Jan. 31, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s tennis team is set to begin the spring season hosting Delaware Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Atlantic Club in Manasquan, N.J. at noon. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a strong fall, where junior Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) made the semifinals at the USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Northeast Regional Championship and freshman Mariam Zein (Sugarland, Texas) won her singles draw at the USTA Invitational.
"The team has worked hard in preparing for our competition,” said 10th-year head coach Ben Bucca. “Everyone is anxious and excited to start the season, especially against a quality opponent like the University of Delaware, a perennial conference champion."
The Scarlet Knights, led by 10th-year head coach Ben Bucca, compiled 13 wins last spring and earned a spot in the BIG EAST Championships The team does not have any seniors, and is led by juniors Stefania Balasa (East Brunswick, N.J.) and Petrini.
Balasa compiled a 13-9 record last season, including 8-2 in the BIG EAST. Petrini matched Balasa’s win total, going 13-8 with a 6-4 record in the conference, while also being named to the All-BIG EAST Women’s Tennis Team. Sophomores Lindsay Balsamo (Wall, N.J.), who went 13-7 overall and 8-2 in league play, Noor Judeh (Potomac, Md.) and Satreethai Sasinin (New Brunswick, N.J.) are also key returnees.
The newcomers include Lindsey Kayati (Monroeville, N.J.), Gina Li (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Zein. Li and Zein were named 2012 National High School Tennis All-Americans by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation (NHSTAAF). A Hillsborough, N.J., native, Li was the Somerset County singles champion, First Team All-County, First Team All-group IV and Second Team All-State. Zein won the Texas 5A girls singles title. Kayati, who hails from Monroeville, N.J., was the final member of the 28th-ranked recruiting class nationally according to Tennis Recruiting Network’s 2012 Winter Rankings.
The Blue Hens are 1-0 in 2013 as they started the season with a win over Morgan State on Jan. 27. Last season, Delaware went 11-6 overall in 2012, including a 4-2 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. The squad finished the season with a loss to UNCW in the CAA quarterfinals.
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding women’s tennis, follow the program on Twitter @RUwtennis