The Seton Hall women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to four and five games last week with victories in Florida over St. Thomas and division II #24 ranked Nova Southeastern, 9-0, 5-4 respectively.
The Pirates were led by senior Denise Liebschner who won her number one singles match 7-5, 6-3 over Karolina Porizkova. Liebschner battled back from a 1-5 deficit in the first set to earn the comeback victory in straight sets.
“I started off slow but pulled it out,” Liebschner said. “It was the first outside match of the season and I needed to get use to the conditions. I adapted to the wind and moved better.”
“She can struggle with wind and get rattled,” head coach Greg Wyzykowski said. “She used her senior leadership to come back.”
Seton Hall also received strong performances from junior Belfin Sunbul and sophomore Michelle Weerasinghe. Sunbul defeated Blake Bauer in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 in the number three spot proving to be one of the Pirates most consistent performers. Weerasinghe beat Paige Lindsley in the number six singles spot in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles competition Seton Hall won two of three matches. Sunbul and Liebschner teamed up to rout Nova Southeastern’s number one doubles ream 8-2. The Seton Hall combination of freshman Karina Cordero and Weerasinghe defeated the Sharks 8-6 from the number three doubles spot.
Using a 9 point scoring system under NAIA competition the Pirates swept the St. Thomas Bobcats 9-0.
Seton Hall was once again led by Liebschner in the number one singles slot, defeating Manuela Gils in straight sets 6-0, 6-1.
“She is stepping up nicely to become a captain,” Wyzykowski said. “She competes hard and plays hard. She’s been a good mentor.”
Sunbul moved up to the number two singles match replacing sophomore Elizabeth Verow. Sunbul trounced Bridget Castillo in straight sets 6-0, 6-0.
Freshman Karina Cordero prevailed over Yosia Quintero in the number three singles spot 7-5, 1-6, 10-4. Cordero has proved to be one of the Pirates more consistent players even as a freshman. She has won four out of her five matches during the Pirates current five game win streak.
Senior walk-on Alexandra Harvey dominated in the number six singles spot sweeping Natalie Ramirez 6-0, 6-0.
Seton Hall also received strong performances from Weerasinghe and senior Liza Chu who won their matches 6-0, 6-1 and 7-5, 1-6, 10-7, respectively.
Liebschner and Sunbul prove to be a tough duo to beat at the number one doubles position winning 8-3. Weerasinghe and Cordero playing in the number three doubles spot were equally impressive winning 8-1.
The doubles pairings of Liebschner and Sunbul and Weerasinghe and Cordero are undefeated in doubles play over the course of the Pirates five game win streak.
The Pirates look to build upon their five game win streak when they travel to Queens Friday to play the St.John’s Red Storm.
“It’s going to be a close match versus St.John’s,” Wyzykowski said. “”When we win the doubles point it makes it a lot easier. We have to capture the net and be more active at the net if we want to win.”
“I am confident we can beat them,” Liebschner said
Seton Hall will also be in action Saturday as they travel down the parkway to play the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders.
“We need to catch the doubles point for positive momentum into singles play,” Liebschner said. “It’d help a lot to take all the doubles but we haven’t had that except for St. Thomas.”
“We need to limit unforced errors,” Wyzykowski said. “We need to have basic fundamentals and be aggressive.”
Colin Rajala can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.