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Mens tennis takes Big East, ladies fall short

After finishing the regular season with a record of 13-7 overall and 2-0 in Big East conference play, the No. 72 ranked St. John’s men’s tennis team were rewarded with the top seed heading into the 2014 Big East tournament.

As the Red Storm hosted the tournament at home at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, they took on the No. 8 seeded Villanova in a quarterfinals match-up to take a sweeping victory over the Wildcats. Senior Gary Kushnirovich and freshman Freddy Ruiz Acevedo had huge contributions in singles play. Freshman Robert Livi and sophomore Michael John-Every pitched in early on in doubles competition as well.

Advancing to the semifinals, the Red Storm then found themselves going head-to-head with No. 4 Xavier, but had no problem getting past the Musketeers as they were victorious once again with a 5-0 win. The St. John’s men’s tennis team not only had the win to celebrate, but this marked the team’s first appearance in the Big East Tournament finals in 19 years.

The Red Storm made their Big East Tournament Championship final appearance a memorable one by becoming triumphant over the No. 3 seeded DePaul Blue Devils with a satisfying 4-1 win.

“I’ve coached for 19 years and winning my first conference championship is a blessing for me and this program,” coach Rebhuhn said. “This team had a passion to win this from the very beginning of the season and they will represent the University well in the NCAA Tournament in the coming weeks.”

After wrapping up the regular season with an overall record of 10-8 (4-0 in Big East play), the St. John’s women’s tennis team obtained the No. 4 seed as they headed into the 2014 Big East Tournament.

The St. John’s women’s tennis team faced off against the No. 5 seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the quarterfinals. The Red Storm came out triumphant over the Hoyas with a 4-3 victory. The match between St. John’s freshman Stephanie Elgegren and Georgetown’s Sophie Panarese lasted over three hours, with Elgegren sealing the win after the third set at 6-3. The win was seen as a milestone for the St. John’s women’s tennis team as it was their first opening round triumph since 2008 in conference tournament play.

As they advanced to the semifinals, the Red Storm played the top seeded DePaul Blue Devils. Despite accomplishing a program best with an undefeated record in Big East play since 2010, the St. John’s women’s tennis team fell short as they were eventually defeated by the Blue Devils. This appearance marked the furthest the team made it in tournament play since a quarterfinal loss to Louisville back in 2008.

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