Tennis Hosts No. 9 Michigan, Michigan State in Weekend Action

April 6, 2017

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers tennis returns home for its next three matches, as it hosts No. 9 Michigan Friday at 2 p.m. at either the Rutgers Tennis Center or East Brunswick Racquet Club, depending on weather. The Scarlet Knights will also entertain Michigan State on Sunday at noon at either venue.

No. 9 Michigan (13-3, 5-0 BIG TEN)
Date Friday, April 7
Time 2 p.m. ET
Location

EBRC

Live Results Click Here
Michigan State (14-4, 4-1 BIG TEN)
Date Sunday, April 9
Time Noon ET
Location

RU Tennis Center

Live Results Click Here

Last Time Out
Behind strong play in both singles and doubles, Rutgers tennis defeated Penn State, 5-2, Sunday afternoon in University Park, Pennsylvania. The win marked the first Big Ten Conference victory of the season and the first since the Scarlet Knights joined the conference in 2015.

Junior Mingxiu Du clinched the match for RU in the No. 1 singles position. After she claimed a 7-6 (3) come-from-behind, first-set victory over Devan McCluskey, Du added a 6-4 result in the second to help Rutgers earn its first conference victory of the spring campaign.

Three other Scarlet Knights claimed their singles matches, including senior Ksenija Tihomirova. Tihomirova won in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5 over Jacqueline Zuhse in the No. 2 position for her first conference singles win of the season.

Senior Farris Cunningham picked up her third-straight Big Ten singles victory with her 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Liyin Xu in the No. 6 position. Cunningham also had wins over her opponents from No. 2 Ohio State on Friday and from then-No. 47 Northwestern last Sunday.

Rookie Katherine Muzik also contributed to the overall result with her 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Shannon Hanley in the fourth slot.

Rutgers started fast in doubles, as Du and Muzik paired for a 6-1 decision over Dunn and Zuhse in the No. 1 position. Moving up from the No. 3 position, Cunningham and freshman Jacqueline Cochrane added a 6-4 win over McCluskey and Shannon Hanley in the No. 2 spot.

Catching Up with the Scarlet Knights
Through 14 duals, Cunningham and Muzik co-lead the Scarlet Knights with seven singles victories. Cunningham is currently on a three-match winning streak, which includes wins over Penn State, Ohio State and Northwestern in the No. 6 position.

Du has produced a 6-8 record in her first Division I season, which includes a 3-5 mark in the No. 1 position. In addition to her victory on Sunday over PSU, Du has also earned a Big Ten victory against Indiana during RU's spring break trip.

Cochrane and Cunningham lead RU with a 9-3 doubles record this season, which includes its 6-4 victory over Penn State on Sunday in the No. 2 position. The duo has won three of its last four Big Ten doubles matches, with wins over PSU, Northwestern and Indiana. 

Scouting No. 9 Michigan
The Wolverines (13-3, 5-0) enter Friday's contest winners of six straight matches after it outscored Wisconsin and Minnesota, 9-1, during weekend play. Michigan will compete in a nonconference match with North Carolina on Thursday prior to its meeting with the Scarlet Knights.

The Wolverines feature two ranked doubles teams in the latest ITA rankings. Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian (No. 4) have produced a 9-2 mark in the No. 1 position, while Mira Ruder-Hook and Brienne Minor (No. 27) own a 12-2 record in the No. 2 position this spring.

In singles play, Fahey is No. 21 nationally with a 12-2 overall mark, which includes a perfect 3-0 mark in conference play. Minor is No. 22 in the country with her 13-3 record.

Ronnie Bernstein is the head coach of the Maize and Blue.

Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans (14-4, 4-1) have won four straight matches heading into weekend play, as it defeated Minnesota, 5-2, and Wisconsin, 4-0, this past weekend in East Lansing. MSU competes against Maryland on Friday before its showdown with Rutgers.

Emily Matcalf and Davina Nguyan currently form the No. 73-overall doubles team nationally and sport a 10-4 record this spring. The duo also owns an impressive 4-1 conference mark.

In singles, three Spartans have 12 or more wins, as Metcalf and Nguyen own identical 13-3 records. Nguyan is a perfect 4-0 in conference action, while Athena Trouillot is 12-4 in 2017.

Kim Bruno is the head coach of Michigan State.

Last Meeting
Rutgers fell to then-No. 11 Michigan, 7-0, and Michigan State, 5-2, last season on the road. Against the Spartans, Chloe Lee picked up a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Lexi Baylis in the No. 2 position.

Next Time Out
Rutgers will host Stony Brook in nonconference action on Wednesday, April 12 at noon. Depending on weather, the match will be contested at either the RU Tennis Center (outside) or the EBRC (inside).

Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers tennis, follow the program on Twitter (@RUwtennis). The team is also on Facebook (facebook.com/RutgersTennis). 


 

 

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