PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 11, 2012) – Rutgers University women’s tennis will close out the regular season with important BIG EAST matches against Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. The Scarlet Knights will take on the Pirates on the road on Thursday, April 12 at 1 p.m. before returning home to the RU Tennis Complex for a pair of 12 noon contests against Pittsburgh and West Virginia on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Over the weekend, the program will honor its three departing seniors; Jennifer Holzberg (Easton, Conn.), Morgan Ivey (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and Leonora Slatnick (Austin, Texas).
“This group of seniors has had four years of significant success,” said ninth-year head coach Benjamin Bucca. “The team has won 70 percent of its matches over their four years, while individually they all have had strong winning records in both singles and doubles in whatever positions they have played. Most importantly, the trio has excelled academically. I am very proud of these three student-athletes.”
Rutgers (9-8, 4-3 BIG EAST) is coming off a 7-0 victory over BIG EAST rival Connecticut on April 4. Sophomore Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) defeated her opponent 6-4, 6-3 at the first position to set the tone for the rest of the courts. RU also won all three doubles matches to blank an opponent for the fifth time this season. The Scarlet Knights are 4-0 in home conference matches this year.
Seton Hall (6-12, 2-4 BIG EAST) most recently won on the road at Villanova on April 9, 4-3. The Pirates swept the doubles contests and split in singles to snap a four-match losing streak. Last season the Scarlet Knights shutout SHU, 7-0, in a match played at the Atlantic Club. Head coach Greg Wyzykowski is in his fifth year at Seton Hall.
Pittsburgh (9-7, 4-4 BIG EAST) has matches against Carnegie Mellon and Providence before arriving in Piscataway for the weekend. Most recently, the Panthers defeated local rival Duquesne in a tightly-contested 4-3 contest at home. Pitt is currently 7-2 on the road, with George Dieffenbach is in his 27th year at the helm of the Pittsburgh men’s and women’s teams.
West Virginia (4-14, 1-4 BIG EAST) lost its final home match of the season, 5-2, to California (Pa.) on April 7. In doubles, the pair of junior Emily Mathis and senior Veronica Cardenas won 8-4, but that was not enough to stop the Division II Vulcans. Tina Samara is in her second year as head coach of the Mountaineers. WVU will travel to South Orange, N.J., to take on Seton Hall on Saturday before facing the Scarlet Knights.
“We are excited that our schedule is ending with all BIG EAST matches,” said Bucca. “It is important for us to win in order to enhance our seeding for the BIG EAST Championships. It should be a fun weekend against three competitive teams and I know our team is ready to get out there and play.”
The BIG EAST Championships are scheduled from April 19-22 in Tampa, Fla.
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