STORRS, CT – Using the momentum of winning two of three doubles matches, the Rutgers women’s tennis team (4-1, 1-1 BIG EAST) knocked off Connecticut, 5-2, on Saturday morning in Storrs, CT.
With the win, Rutgers evens its BIG EAST record at 1-1 as it hopes to qualify for the BIG EAST Championships, which takes place Thursday, April 30-Saturday, May 1 in Miami, FL. The top six teams advance to the championship.
At first doubles, Andrea Weckstein (Holdmdel, NJ) and Ketevan Shmakova (Dover, NJ) earned a hard-fought 8-4 victory, while Alina Balasa (East Brunswick, NJ) and Helen Magomedova (Brooklyn, NY) followed with a 8-4 decision at second doubles. Jill Markowitz (Forest Hills, NY) and Kaitlin Link (Ontario, Canada) lost at third doubles, 8-3.
“The doubles teams set the tone for us today,” said head coach Ben Bucca. “It was a big lift for us to gain the doubles point, and our success carried over into the singles matches. I’m very proud of the team. Every one of them played well today.”
In singles, Connecticut was able to tie the score at 2-2 with back-to-back wins at second and third singles. At first singles, Weckstein won in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). Magomedova gave Rutgers a 3-2 lead by rolling to a 6-2, 6-3 win at fourth singles, and the Scarlet Knights clinched the match at fifth and sixth singles, respectively, by gaining straight-set wins. Markowtiz won at fifth singles, 6-3, 6-1, while Link earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at sixth singles.
“This win puts us on course to reach our goal of qualifying for the BIG EAST Tournament,” said Bucca. “Connecticut has always been a tough opponent for us, and today was no different. But we hung in there and won some close matches. Now we have to sustain the momentium as we head to Providence next week.”
Rutgers will take on Providence next Saturday, Feb. 28, at 7:00 p.m. in Providence, RI.
Rutgers 5, Connecticut 2
No. 1 Andrea Weckstein/Ketevan Shmakova (RU) def. Whitney Simcik/Alison Adamski 8-4
No. 2 Alina Balasa/Helen Magomedova (RU) def. Barbara Schumsky/Ashley Petruzzi 8-4
No. 3 Jennifer LoRusso/Christine Burek (UC) def. Jill Markowitz/Kaitlin Link 8-3
No. 1 Weckstein def. Simcik 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
No. 2 LoRusso def. Balasa 2-6, 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 Schumsky def. Shmakova 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 Magomedova def. Adamski 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 Markowtiz def. Burek 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 Link def. Petruzzi 6-4, 6-3