PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 27, 2014) – The Rutgers tennis team, winners of six of its last seven matches, returns home for two matches this weekend. The Scarlet Knights resume American Athletic Conference play on Friday, March 28, as the squad welcomes Temple for its fourth home match of the season. The contest was originally scheduled to take place at the RU Tennis Complex, but will now be held at the East Brunswick Racquet Club at noon.
Rutgers will also welcome Fordham “To the Banks” on Sunday, March 30. The contest is slated to take place at the RU Tennis Complex at 12 p.m.
The Scarlet Knights (9-4, 1-1 AAC) enter the matchup against the Owls after traveling to New Orleans to compete in three matches during their annual spring break trip. RU went 2-1 during that span, which included victories against Southern and Tulane. Rutgers’ lone loss during the road trip was to Southeastern Louisiana, in a close 4-3 matchup.
The Scarlet Knights shutout Southern, 7-0, in their opening match, sweeping the doubles point and six singles points in the victory. In a 6-1 win against the Green Wave, RU captured the doubles point, while securing five of six singles matches to defeat Tulane.
For Rutgers, junior Lindsay Balsamo (Wall, N.J.) and freshman Farris Cunningham (Houston, Texas) each went 3-0 in singles play during the trip, while Cunningham also finished with a 3-0 mark in doubles action for a perfect road trip. Cunningham currently holds a 7-1 record in singles play this season, including a perfect 1-0 mark in conference action.
In doubles, Cunningham, sophomore Gina Li (Hillsborough, N.J.) and senior co-captain Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) each have eight wins to lead the squad. Li and Cunningham have combined for a 3-0 doubles record so far this season.
Temple (5-9, 0-2 AAC) comes into the contest after shutting out Villanova, 7-0, for only its second win in its last seven chances. Dina Karina, who holds an 8-5 record in singles play, leads the Owls. Karina and Rebecca Breland have the most doubles victories for Temple with five.
Fordham (6-5, 0-1 A-10) will take on Rutgers after nearly two weeks off. The Rams’ last two contests against Florida Atlantic (March 20) and Fairleigh Dickinson (March 26) were cancelled. In its last time out, the New York school picked up a 6-1 victory over Hope College in Orlando, Fla., on March 17.
Sarah Ali leads the Rams with six singles wins. Ali and doubles partner Elliesa Ball have posted an 8-2 mark from the No. 1 doubles slot to lead the squad in doubles action.
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