PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 18, 2013) – In its first round match of the BIG EAST Championship, the Rutgers women’s tennis team downed St. John’s, 4-2, in Tampa, Fla., Thursday. The Scarlet Knights took the doubles point before winning four singles contests to secure the victory.
“It was a long, hard-fought match,” said 10th-year head coach Benjamin Bucca. “We came through in crucial moments and showed a strong competitive spirit. We are looking forward to a good match with Louisville tomorrow.”
No. 6 Rutgers defeated St. John’s for the second time this season and improved to 14-7 (8-2 BIG EAST).
The Scarlet Knights got on the board first as junior Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) and freshman Gina Li (Hillsborough, N.J.) picked up a win in the No. 1 singles slot after an injury retirement from Amber Washington and Diamond Adams of St. John’s when RU led 5-4. The tandem improved to 11-6 together this season. Freshmen Lindsay Kayati (Monroeville, N.J.) and Mariam Zein (Sugarland, Texas) secured the point with an 8-5 win over the Red Storm’s Nevena Selakovic and Ksenia Mikhaylova.
Despite dropping the No. 1 singles contest, Rutgers rallied. Li notched her team-high 16th win of the season and advanced to 9-1 in conference play as she earned a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Adams. At No. 5 singles, Zein defeated STJ’s Gvantsa Robakidze (6-4, 6-0) before sophomore Noor Judeh (Potomac, Md.) recorded the decisive point by downing the Red Storm’s Terri Thomas, 7-5, 6-3.
Rutgers next takes on third-seeded Louisville tomorrow, April 19, at noon. The Cardinals defeated No. 14 Seton Hall (4-0) in the opening round and are ranked No. 69 in the most recent ITA rankings. The two teams last met on Feb. 27, 2011, when Louisville picked up a 4-3 victory over the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers 4, St. John’s 2
1. Nevena Selakovic (STJ) def. Vanessa Petrini (RU) 6-0, 6-1
2. Gina Li (RU) def. Diamond Adams (STJ) 6-2, 6-3
3. Lindsey Kayati (RU) did not finish vs. Yanita Arnaudova (STJ)
4. Ksenia Mikhaylova (STJ) def. Stefania Balasa (RU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Mariam Zein (RU) def. Gvantsa Robakidze (STJ) 6-4, 6-0
6. Noor Judeh (RU) def. Terri Thomas (STJ) 7-5, 6-3*
1. Petrini/Li (RU) vs. Washington/Adams (STJ) - RU was winning 5-4, STJ had injury retirement. RU earns the win.
2. Kayati/Zein (RU) def. Selakovic/Mikhaylova (STJ) 8-5*
3. Arnaudova/ Robakidze (STJ) def. Balasa/Lindsay Balsamo (RU) 8-4
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