The College of New Jersey women’s tennis team began their season on a high note, completing a 9-0 sweep of Rutgers-Newark U. on Sept. 1. All six singles matches and three doubles pairs extended the Lions’ streak to 132 consecutive wins.
The Lions, who were picked unanimously to capture their 28th consecutive NJAC title, are mostly comprised of underclassmen this season. Two seniors graduated last year, and they currently have two juniors as the eldest members of the team.
“I think its great that we have a young team,” junior Felice Trihn said. “It gives us the opportunity to grow together, giving us a better chance to overcome any obstacles. The new freshmen are a great asset and will help us continue with our success.”
Sophomore Karisse Bendijo defeated freshman Bushra Memon at the first singles position 6-0, 6-1. She paired with fellow sophomore Allison Tierney at first doubles to take Memon and freshman Agnes Bangayan 8-1. Tierney took down sophomore Ashley Lawrence 6-2, 6-3. Lawrence and freshman partner Michelle Kvitnitsky fell to the second sophomore duo of Lauren Balsamo and Paige Aiello 8-0. Aiello and Balsamo also shutout their singles opponents Kvitnitsky and Liane Drastal with scores of 6-0, 6-0.
Rounding out the doubles victories were junior Emily Petersack and freshman Tara Criscuolo who posted an 8-0 win over freshman Dhaneya Kumar and Drastal. Petersack went on to beat Bangayan and Criscuolo took down Kumar 6-0, 6-0 in her debut for the College.
“I was really nervous about my first match as a Lion because of our streak,” Criscuolo said. “But I was also excited. After just a few weeks with the team, I can tell this is going to be a really fun and successful year.”
The Lions’ next match is this Wednesday at William Paterson University. The team’s home opener is a doubleheader on Saturday against Richard Stockton College at 11:30 a.m. and Kean University at 3 p.m. at the Tennis Complex.