CINCINNATI (February 23, 2014) – Led by a come-from-behind singles victory from senior co-captain Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.), the Rutgers tennis team (4-3, 1-1 AAC) captured its first American Athletic Conference victory of the season, 4-3, over Cincinnati (4-7, 0-2 AAC) on the road Sunday afternoon.
“This was a fantastic win for our team,” said head coach Ben Bucca, Jr. “The match was tied at 3-all and Vanessa Petrini, as a senior, showed great confidence and determination in an exciting come-from-behind win at the No. 1 singles position to clinch the victory. This was a strong road trip for us. We played great tennis and are extremely motivated for our next match against an always tough Ivy League opponent, Cornell.”
Petrini bounced back from a 2-6 first-set loss to win the second frame by a score of 6-2. Petrini closed out the match with a 6-3 win in the tie breaker. Also securing wins in singles play were sophomore Lindsey Kayati (Monroeville, N.J.), senior co-captain Stefania Balasa (East Brunswick, N.J.) and freshman Farris Cunningham (Houston, Texas).
Kayati improved to a team-leading 6-1 record in singles action after topping Katya Bure 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4 singles. Balasa followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 5 over Hannah Wille, while Cunningham notched the fourth singles win with a dominant 6-0, 6-0 decision at No. 6 over Carly Wilson.
Petrini and Cunningham teamed up for RU’s only doubles win, as the tandem downed Bure and Sierra Sullivan by an 8-5 mark at No. 3.
The Scarlet Knights close out a six-match road stretch on Saturday, March 1, as the team treks to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on Cornell.
Rutgers 4, Cincinnati 3
1. Kelly Poggensee-Wei/Caitlin O-Gara (CINC) def. Gina Li/Lindsey Kayati (RU), 8-4
2. Lauren Bellinger/Ashleigh Wittie (CINC) def. Lindsay Balsamo/Mariam Zein (RU), 8-4
3. Vanessa Petrini/Farris Cunningham (RU) def. Katya Bure/Sierra Sullivan (CINC), 8-5
1. Vanessa Petrini (RU) def. Kelly Poggensee-Wei, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
2. Ashleigh Witte (CINC) def. Gina Li (RU), 7-5, 6-3
3. Caitlin O’Gara (CINC) def. Mariam Zein (RU), 6-3, 6-4
4. Lindsey Kayati (RU) def. Katya Bure (CINC), 6-1, 6-3
5. Stefania Balasa (RU) def. Hannah Wille (CINC), 6-4, 6-3
6. Farris Cunningham (RU) def. Carly Wilson (CINC), 6-0, 6-0
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