Weak play leads to yet another conference loss for tennis team

The women’s tennis team remains winless in the Big East after they were defeated by in-state rival Rutgers 6-1 on Tuesday.

The Red Knights (11-5) overpowered the Pirates by getting off to a quick start and winning all three doubles matches.

Senior Denise Liebschner and junior Belfin Sunbul came up short-handed in No. 1 doubles, losing 8-5.

At No. 2 doubles, sophomores Courtney Kilarski and Elizabeth Verow lost 8-4.

Junior Slavina Kaplanska and sophomore Michelle Weerasinghe were also defeated 8-1 at No. 3 doubles.

“Rutgers is a tough team,” Kilarski said. “They are currently undefeated in Big East. We played our best, but overall they were more aggressive in doubles attacking the net and didn’t miss the baseline in singles.”
Seton Hall did not fair much better in singles.

The lone victory for the Pirates was Sunbul’s at No. 3 singles.

After losing the first set 1-6, Sunbul came back to win the last two sets 7-5 and 10-7.

All other singles matches were lost in two games.

Before entering Big East play on March 19 with their match against St. John’s, Seton Hall was on a five-game win streak.

Recently, however, the Pirates (5-9) have come up empty handed, losing the last six.

All six losses have been to teams in the Big East.

After the loss to the Red Storm, the Hall dropped a match to NJIT. Following that and a postponement to Villanova, the Hall lost four straight home matches.

“I think we have just hit some harder teams,” Kilarski said. “We need to strategize and play better to get back on a winning streak. We also need to be more aggressive in matches and look for more open opportunities.”

Seton Hall is faced with even harder teams as they look to take on West Virginia this weekend in South Orange.

The Mountaineers are 13-5, but have lost their last two games. In addition, West Virginia must play Duquesne today before playing the Pirates.

“We will go in with an open mind, and just play one point at a time,” Kilarski said. “They are a tougher team this year. We must be mentally and physically prepared, and leave no opportunities and take advantage of the ones that are given to us.”

Seton Hall will play the Mountaineers at 10 a.m. on Saturday in South Orange.

Krissy Wrobel can be reached at kristine.wrobel@student.shu.edu.

Editor’s Note: The No. 1, 2, and 3 ranking of matches are similar to seeding of a tournament, with No.1 matched competitions as the highest rank.

Author: Staff Writer

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