Seton Hall has a chance to hold yet another Big East trophy.
This time, it is for tennis.
In what has been a season where the women’s tennis team has struggled to find consistency, the Pirates enter the Big East Tournament looking to play their strengths.
In what seemed like the team getting hot at the right time, winning two of its last three matches, the Pirates fell to Xavier in a decisive 7-0 loss in the last licks of action before the tournament.
Entering the tournament, the tennis squad finishes the spring season with an overall 9-10 record, including a 3-5 record for conference play. The Pirates have not had a winning streak of more than three matches all season, which took place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.
In the loss to Xavier on Sunday, individual play that stood out focused on doubles partners senior Julia Keenan and sophomore Katie Kim. The win for them to close the regular season marked their sixth of the year, with five of those victories coming in conference play.
Coming into the tournament as a No. 6 seed, Seton Hall will face third-seeded St. John’s in the first round. It is win-or-go home, and the Pirates need to bring it since their 7-0 loss to the Red Storm on April 10 earlier this season.
Riding the success of its doubles team, Seton Hall tennis will also look to its seniors to get past the first round and try to follow in the footsteps of the basketball and women’s golf teams in bringing a Big East trophy back to South Orange.
Along with her doubles victories, senior Keenan has recorded 12 single wins on the spring, featuring four against Big East foes. The team leader in wins last season, senior Isabell Klingerthas put up nine victories in her last year at the Hall. Finally, senior Hannah Liljekvist has posted 11 wins this season, with nine of those coming in dominating fashion of a straight set.
Behind these seniors is a strong young core, but everyone will have to bring their A-games in order to beat a St. John’s team that swept SHU earlier in the season.
The opening round of the tennis Big East tournament will begin on Friday, Apr. 29 at 9 a.m. in Cayce, S.C., where the Pirates will look to their doubles team and seniors to lead, move on and bring a Big East championship back to Seton Hall.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu or on Twitter @ESwint22.