PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 10, 2014) – Riding a five-match winning streak, the Rutgers tennis team (13-4, 3-1 AAC) will conclude the regular season by hosting a pair of matches this weekend. Villanova (3-11, 0-2 BIG EAST) visits Piscataway on Friday, April 11 and St. John’s (8-7, 2-0 BIG EAST) will play “On the Banks” on Sunday, April 13. The two matches will be the last for the Scarlet Knights before heading to Tampa, Fla., on April 17 to participate in the American Athletic Conference Championships.
RU’s contest against St. Johns on April 13 will be Senior Day for the Scarlet Knights, as the squad’s co-captains Stefania Balasa (East Brunswick, N.J.) and Vanessa Petrini (Stamford, Conn.) will play in their final home contests “On the Banks.” Sunday’s match will also be Youth Tennis Day, as the first 50 fans will receive a Rutgers drawstring backpack. Additionally, fans are invited to stay for a post-match autograph session with the team.
Since February 23, RU has gone 10-1, with its lone loss occurring on March 18 against Southeastern Louisiana. During its five-match winning streak, RU has outscored its opponents 29-6, securing at least six points in four of the five contests.
Most recently, Rutgers downed in-state rival Seton Hall, 6-1, on April 8 at the Mendham Racquet Club to close out the road portion of its regular season schedule.
In singles play, sophomore Lindsey Kayati (Monroeville, N.J.) has also won five-straight matches dating back to a loss at the No. 3 slot to Southeastern Louisiana’s Valya Rusakova. Since then, Kayati has not dropped a set in singles action en route to her team-leading 13 wins.
Four other Scarlet Knights join Kayati in double figure singles victories. Balasa is second on the team in singles wins with 12, while Petrini, junior Lindsay Balsamo (Wall, N.J.) and sophomore Gina Li (Hillsborough, N.J.) all have 11 singles victories this season.
Balsamo and sophomore Mariam Zein (Sugarland, Texas) lead RU with a 10-7 record in doubles action. The duo’s 8-4 win on Tuesday, April 8 against in-state rival Seton Hall secured the doubles point for Rutgers in the victory over the Pirates.
Villanova will face St. Joseph on April 10 in Philadelphia before taking on the Scarlet Knights the following day. Currently, the Wildcats are on a six-match losing streak and have won just one match in their past nine outings. Villanova’s lone triumph during that span was a 4-3 defeat of Delaware on March 16.
St. John’s also faces another opponent before traveling to Piscataway, N.J., as the Red Storm host BIG EAST rival Seton Hall on April 11. SJU’s last match was a 5-2 road loss to Stony Brook on Sunday, April 6.
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