BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s tennis team fell in its season opener, 7-0 to Rutgers Thursday inside the Lewis Tennis Center. The Mountain Hawks were slightly shorthanded, starting four freshmen in their first college match but fought hard against the Scarlet Knights, who evened their season record at 1-1, while Lehigh opens its season at 0-1.
“We were a little shorthanded, but we played hard,” said Lehigh head coach Dave Shook. “We had to play four freshmen but they were unfazed. I give them a lot of credit for hanging in and battling against a good team.”
The Scarlet Knights swept all three doubles matches by identical 8-2 scores to earn the first point of the match. Rutgers swept all six singles matches in straight sets to close out the victory. Freshman Jenai Bilimoria came closest to winning a set, pushing Jen Holzberg to a first set tiebreak at No. 2 singles. Kathleen Larkin also impressed in a losing effort, battling Vanessa Petrini at No. 5 singles before falling 6-2, 6-4. With junior Liz Piscitelli out of the lineup, Shook inserted a freshman, Taylor Hampshire into the No. 1 singles spot, while Jill Sloand was the fourth freshman to see court time, playing at No. 6 singles.
The Mountain Hawks will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Georgetown at 1 p.m. inside the Lewis Tennis Center.
Rutgers 7, Lehigh 0
1. Zhang/Holzberg (RU) def. Hampshire/Larkin (LU) 8-2
2. Ivey/Milchutskey (RU) def. Bilimoria/Muething (LU) 8-2
3. Petrini/Balasa (RU) def. Perl/Sloand (LU) 8-2
1. Amy Zhang (RU) def. Taylor Hampshire (LU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Jen Holzberg (RU) def. Jenai Bilimoria (LU) 7-6, 6-0
3. Maryana Milchutskey (RU) def. Patricia Muething (LU) 6-0, 6-0
4. Stef Balasa (RU) def. Abbey Perl (LU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Vanessa Petrini (RU) def. Kathleen Larkin (LU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Michelle Green (RU) def. Jill Sloand (LU) 6-1, 6-2