The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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St. John’s Looks To Cap Off Record-Setting Campaign At Big East Tennis Championships

Men’s and Women’s Tennis finish the regular season atop Big East ranking heading into conference tournament.
Photo Courtesy / Brenden Willsch

The St. John’s Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams are headed to Cayce, South Carolina this weekend to play in the Big East Tennis Championships. The winner of each tournament will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA championships that begin on May 17.  

No. 4 St. John’s Women’s Tennis vs. No. 6 Georgetown

The Women’s Tennis team earned a first-round bye in the tournament, automatically advancing to the Big East quarterfinals against No. 6 Georgetown at 12:45 p.m. on Friday.

The women’s team finished their regular season 12-8 overall record with a 5-2 record in conference play — most recently sweeping Seton Hall in their regular season finale, 7-0.  

Yesica de Lucas brought in her 29th total win of the season, and 17th in singles play, against the Pirates. The graduate student has stayed consistent all season, boasting the number one doubles seed with partner senior Jayden Nielson.

This is the fourth time that St. John’s has received a fourth-seed ranking in the Big East tournament. The last time they were ranked fourth was in 2021, when the team reached the semifinal round.

The Women’s Tennis program has found success in recent years, and looks to continue that historic run with a Big East championship. The program has won 27 consecutive home matches since 2020, notching nine this season. Women’s Tennis head coach Lauren Leo won her 100th match this year and ranks second in program history with 105 total regular season wins. 

Photo Courtesy / Libby Sears

No. 2 St. John’s Men’s Tennis vs. No. 7 Marquette 

The men’s team will start at 12:45 p.m. on Friday against No. 7 Marquette. 

The team is 17-5 overall, and 8-0 on their home courts. They have a .726 win percentage in singles and a .714 win percentage in doubles matches.  

The men’s team, coached by Dillon Pottish, completed their sixth-consecutive winning season and recorded more than 15 wins for the third-straight year. In the three times that Pottish’s team has been to the Big East Tournament, they have reached the finals, but have yet to win a Big East Championship. 

Four Johnnies have won more than 10 singles matches this year, including Sergio Molina, who leads the team with 14 singles wins. 

St. John’s graduate student Diogo Marques holds a 9-3 record, and is currently on a seven-match win streak going into the tournament. He won the Big East Men’s Tennis Singles Player of the Week after he defeated Marquette’s two-time All-Big East First Team honoree Stefan Dragovic. 

The men’s team experimented with 18 different doubles pairings during the 2023 season, polishing their partnering for the Big East. At the top of those pairings is Ryota Kaneda and Adam Groves, who have played 10 matches together in the number-three slot. 

Postseason dominance seems to come easy for the Men’s team. The program holds six Big East championship titles. The last time they earned a number two seed was in 2021, and the last time they won the Big East Tournament was in 2019, during Pottish’s first season at the helm. 

The Men’s and Women’s Championship matches will be streamed live on the Big East Digital Network (BEDN) on FloSports. 

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About the Contributor
Isabella Cautero
Isabella Cautero, Sports Editor
Isabella is a senior journalism major serving as the Sports Editor for The Torch. She is minoring in sport management. Outside of The Torch, she works as an academic tutor at the University Learning Commons. She likes to spend time with her friends, read, play with her dog and watch the New York Rangers or Yankees. On any given day you can find her listening to her favorite artists, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Isabella can be reached at [email protected].
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