PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 13, 2014) – In its final regular season contest of the 2014 campaign, the Rutgers tennis team (15-4, 3-1 AAC) topped St. John’s (9-8, 3-0 BIG EAST), 6-1, at the RU Tennis Complex Sunday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights conclude the regular season with a seven match win streak, having captured victories in 12 of their last 13 contests.
Senior co-captains Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) and Stefania Balasa (East Brunswick, N.J.) played in their final home contest “On the Banks” against the Red Storm.
“This was a great end to our regular season, as we came through with a 6-1 victory that in no way reflected how close and competitive a match this was,” said head coach Ben Bucca, Jr. “St. John’s really fought hard and played high-level tennis. We were able to withstand their challenge and really battled to come through with a great victory. Congratulations to seniors Vanessa Petrini and Stef Balasa in playing their last home match ‘On the Banks.’ We look forward to heading down to the University of South Florida and competing in the American Athletic Championships later this week.”
Rutgers claimed two of the three doubles matches for the doubles point, and went on to capture five of the six singles matchups to seal the win.
After falling in the No. 1 doubles match, Rutgers bounced back to win the following two matchups by identical scores of 8-4. At No. 2, junior Lindsay Balsamo (Wall, N.J.) and sophomore Mariam Zein (Sugarland, Texas) teamed up to defeat Diamond Adams and Nastya Polyakova, while sophomore Gina Li (Hillsborough, N.J.) and freshman Farris Cunningham (Houston, Texas) topped the duo of Stephanie Elgegren and Puck Vlaskamp at No. 3.
In singles play, Petrini captured a thrilling victory at the No. 1 slot playing for her final time in Piscataway. After falling to Polyakova 4-6 in the opening set, Petrini bounced back with a tie breaker win in the second, 7-6 (1), and then a 6-4 third-set victory.
At No. 2, Li proceeded to top Anna Morozova, 6-4, 7-5. Sophomore Lindsay Kayati (Monroeville, N.J.), RU’s leader in singles wins, secured her 15th victory in solo action at No. 3, with a 6-4, 7-6 (6) defeat of Yanita Arnaudova.
After dropping the fourth singles match, Balsamo rebounded for RU with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Elgegren. Zein accounted for the final singles win for the hosts – a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Vlaskamp at No. 6.
Rutgers treks to Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, April 17 to take part in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships.
Rutgers 6, St. John’s 1
1. Anna Morozova/Yanita Arnaudova (SJU) def. Vanessa Petrini/Lindsey Kayati (RU), 8-5
2. Lindsay Balsamo/Mariam Zein (RU) def. Diamond Adams/Nastya Polyakova (SJU). 8-4
3. Gina Li/Farris Cunningham (RU) def. Stephanie Elgegren/Puck Vlaskamp (SJU), 8-4
1. Vanessa Petrini (RU) def. Nastya Polyakova (SJU), 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4
2. Gina Li (RU) def. Anna Morozova (SJU), 6-4, 7-5
3. Lindsey Kayati (RU) def. Yanita Arnaudova (SJU), 6-4, 7-6 (6)
4. Diamond Adams (SJU) def. Stefania Balasa (RU), 6-3, 6-2
5. Lindsay Balsamo (RU) def. Stephanie Elgegren (SJU), 6-2, 6-3
6. Mariam Zein (RU) def. Puck Vlaskamp (SJU), 6-0, 6-1
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