The Seton Hall tennis team, fresh off of a nine-match shutout of Monmouth University, will host Big East rival St. John’s on Saturday, April 11.
The Pirates (7-8, 2-2), playing in West Long Branch, N.J., beat the Hawks 7-0 on Thursday, April 2. SHU won all nine matches, sweeping the three doubles contests and then all six singles.
Seton Hall’s pairs set the tone long before singles play began, outscoring Monmouth 24-3 in doubles play. Hannah Liljekvist and Julia Keenan won their matchup 8-1 in the No. 1 slot while Katie Kim and Madison Shoemaker followed up by holding MU’s Kendal Kauffman and Farrah Smoke scoreless. Isabell Klingert and Marisa Quevedo then locked down the doubles sweep with a win in the three hole.
The Hall then continued their dominance in singles play, with Klingert and Shoemaker each needing the minimum of 12 games to take down their opponents at the four and six positions, respectively. Combined, Quevedo and Kim dropped just three games on their way to victories while Liljekvist and Luize Strike each notched victories at No. 1 and 2.
Head coach Greg Wyzykowski praised juniors Liljekvist and Klingert for their play of late.
“She is a very good team leader,” the seventh year coach said of Liljekvist. “She stepped into the No. 1 position after Chloe (Sher) graduated, so those are some pretty big shoes to fill. She’s had some moments where she wasn’t at her best but she is just a fighter.”
“The biggest improvement has been Isabell Klingert,” he added, praising the German native. “Isabell has been just phenomenal.”
The team was in good spirits after the convincing win, as Wyzykowski wanted to give some of his more inexperienced players a chance.
“The mood was pretty good,” he said. “Monmouth was a team we put on the schedule as a chance to give other players a chance to play because we know they are not normally as strong as some of the other teams we are playing.”
While Thursday was an obvious success story for the Pirates, much of the team’s season has been plagued by inconsistency. With a record just under .500, Wyzykowski believes his team can put it all together with three matches left on the schedule before the Big East Championship.
“There’s only one main thing we can do to be more consistent and that’s in doubles play,” Wyzykowski said. “We’ve been really struggling with that. Our third doubles needs a lot of work and that’s mostly because of injuries we have been going through. First and second doubles has been okay.”
He noted that his first and second pairs have failed to consistently win together all year.
Now, Seton Hall will get a chance to win their third straight match on Saturday, April 11 when the Red Storm come to visit at the Althea Gibson Tennis Center in Newark, N.J. St John’s (9-7, 3-0) will be playing in their fourth match of the week after going up against ASA College, NJIT and Xavier earlier in the week.
Their match with the blue and white is set to begin at 12 p.m.
Gary Phillips can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.