PROVIDENCE, RI - Despite the absence of first-doubles standout Ketevan Shmakova, the Rutgers women’s tennis team improved to 4-1 on the season with a 7-0 triumph over Providence on Saturday, Feb. 28.
Rutgers came out strong in doubles, as Andrea Weckstein (Holmdel, NJ) and Alina Balasa (East Brunswick, NJ) won 8-2 while Kaitlin Link (Ontario, Canada) and Jill Markowitz (Forest Hills, NY) followed with an 8-2 decision at second doubles. Helen Magomedova (Brooklyn, NY) and Lauren Edelschein (Medford Lakes, NJ) won at third doubles, 8-2.
The Scarlet Knights kept rolling in singles, as Weckstein won in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) and Balasa fought back after dropping the first set to post a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory. Magomedova earned a 6-1, 6-1 victory at third singles, while Markowitz won 6-3, 2-1 when her opponent retired in the second set. Link and Edelschein won by indentical 6-1, 6-0 scores at fifth and sixth singles, respectively.
With their singles wins, Link and Markowtiz both remain undefeated on the season (6-0).
“Providence is a much improved team,” said head coach Ben Bucca. “I don’t think the final score is really indicative of how competitive the match really was. It is a sign, though, that we came out and played at a very high level. Even without Ketevan, we still came out strong in the doubles and carried that into the singles matches.”
The win improves RU’s BIG EAST record to 2-1 overall. The Scarlet Knights will be in action against on Sunday, Feb. 29, as they stay in Providence to face Brown.
Rutgers 7, Providence 0
No. 1 Andrea Weckstein/Alina Balasa def. Sara Bitetti/Cheri Lapane 8-2
No. 2 Kaitlin Link/Jill Markowitz def. Jennifer Daigle/Andrea Lee 8-2
No. 3 Helen Magomedova/Lauren Edelschein def. Molly Gilbride/Nicole Rodger 8-2
No. 1 Weckstein def. Daigle 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 Balasa def. Lapane 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
No. 3 Magomedova def. Bitetti 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 Markowitz def. Gilbride 6-3, 2-1 (retired)
No. 5 Link def. Rodger 6-1, 6-0
No. 6 Edelschein def. Lee 6-1, 6-0