March 22, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - After a 13-day layoff, the St. John’s women’s tennis team will open a six-match BIG EAST Conference stretch on Friday morning when it welcomes Pittsburgh to the USTA National Tennis Center at 11 a.m., before traveling to local rival Rutgers for a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Live scoring will be available for the Red Storm’s conference home opener on Friday.
The Red Storm (2-9, 1-1 BIG EAST) earned its first conference win of the season with a 4-2 decision at Providence on March 9, but lost a hard-fought match at Harvard by a 4-3 margin the next afternoon.
The upperclass trio of Nakita Austin, Ece Firat and Nevena Selakovic continues to lead the squad with a combined 15 singles victories. Austin enters the weekend on a four-match winning streak, while Selakovic, the squad’s No. 1 singles player, is a team-best 7-3 on the season.
Pitt comes into the match with an overall record of 6-5, including a 2-3 mark in BIG EAST play. The Panthers notched a 5-2 win at Youngstown State on Wednesday afternoon. Twin sisters Molly and Amanda Wickman both recorded straight-set victories in their respective singles matches. The freshmen pair has a combined 19 wins over the course of the fall and spring seasons.
Rutgers (6-6, 1-3 BIG EAST) is coming off a 1-2 spring break trip in Charleston, S.C., where it defeated Boston University. Sophomores Stefania Balasa and Vanessa Petrini lead the Scarlet Knights in singles action with 8-3 and 8-4 records, respectively. The duo of Petrini and senior Jennifer Holzberg lead Rutgers with a 9-2 mark in doubles play.
St. John’s continues conference play on Sunday, April 1 when it welcomes Seton Hall for a midday match in Queens.