PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 27, 2013) – For the fifth time this season, the Rutgers women’s tennis team swept its opponent, downing BIG EAST foe Villanova, 7-0, Wednesday in Villanova, Pa.
“Today was a very strong victory against a conference opponent,” said assistant coach Hilary Ritchie. “We played some terrific singles tennis and Villanova was a tough competitor. We have a lot of confidence going into this weekend’s match against Yale because we had such strong singles play and we’re hoping to carry it over.”
RU, led by 10th-year head coach Ben Bucca, improved to 10-5 on the season, including a 4-1 mark in conference play. The Wildcats moved to 3-6 (0-2 BIG EAST).
The Scarlet Knights started the match by picking up the doubles point, as junior Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) and freshman Gina Li (Hillsborough, N.J.) defeated Mikelle Mancini and Tori Smyth of Villanova, 8-5. The tandem is a team-best 9-2 as partners this season. RU sealed the point with a No. 2 doubles win by freshmen Lindsay Kayati (Monroeville, N.J.) and Mariam Zein (Sugarland, Texas). The two beat Wildcats Sydney West and Allison Kuse, 8-6.
Petrini began singles contests by earning a hard-fought win over Mancini (5-7, 6-1, 10-8) for her 10th win of the season. Li followed that up by blanking Smyth, 6-0, 6-0. She has won a team-high 12 matches in 2013, including an undefeated 5-0 mark in league play.
Kayati also reached double-digit wins this season, recording her 10th in the form of a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory over West. Junior Stefania Balasa (East Brunswick, N.J.), Zein and sophomore Lindsay Balsamo (Wall, N.J.) closed out the contest for the Scarlet Knights by each earning singles wins.
Rutgers next travels to New Haven, Conn., to take on No. 36 Yale on Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m.
Rutgers 7, Villanova 0
No. 1: Vanessa Petrini (RU) def. Mikelle Mancini (Nova), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8
No. 2: Gina Li (RU) def. Tori Smyth (Nova), 6-0, 6-0
No. 3: Lindsey Kayati (RU) def. Sydney West (Nova), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
No. 4: Stefania Balasa (RU) def. Allison Kuse (Nova), 6-1, 6-0
No. 5: Mariam Zein (RU) def. Kate Pettee (Nova), 6-1, 6-0
No. 6: Lindsay Balsamo (RU) def. Anne Cognetti (Nova), 4-6, 6-2, 10-0
No. 1: Petrini/Li (RU) def. Mancini/Smyth (Nova), 8-5
No. 2: Kayati/Zein (RU) def. West/Kuse (Nova), 8-6
No. 3: Satreethai Sasinin/Judeh (RU) def. Pettee/Wesleigh Donadio (Nova), 7-7 (DNF)
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