Despite beginning the weekend match-ups with injuries to a couple of St. John’s key players, the Red Storm’s women’s tennis team bounced back with a gutsy effort at Syracuse and at home against NJIT to earn a weekend split.
Saturday’s contest against Syracuse began on the right note with St. John’s best doubles team of Maria Zivcicova and Ira Aleksova (5-2) taking match No. 1. The Johnnies were not able to keep the tempo flowing, dropping the next two doubles matches to lose the doubles point. In singles, St. John’s kept it close but Syracuse prevailed by taking the singles matches at No. 2, 4 and 5 to clinch the game and ultimately win by the score of 4-3.
On Sunday, the Red Storm returned back home to face NJIT. Zivcicova, who has been St. John’s top player and has valiantly been played with a nagging hip injury throughout the weekend, teamed up with Aleksova once again to take the first doubles match, 8-4. St. John’s Jenny Yonkus and Emily Barnett followed through with a win at doubles match No. 2 to secure the doubles point for St. John’s.
Zivcicova led off for the Red Storm in singles, but after going down 1-0 in the match, the discomfort in her hip forced her to retire, surrendering the No. 1 singles point to NJIT. With St. John’s second top player Alison Adamski already sidelined for the weekend to nurse an injury, and Zivcicova retiring out of her match, the Red Storm refused to go down.
The Red Storm’s Emily Barnett and Ira Aleksova brilliantly took their respective singles match at No. 2 and 3 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, and 6-0, 6-0.
After dropping the singles match at No. 4, senior Ashley Harper stepped up for her team and ousted NJIT’s Dasa Stanimirovic in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1. “There’s really not much else in sports that compares to coming through for your team when they’re counting on you,” Harper said. “It felt really great”
As for the injuries to St. John’s top two singles players, coach Allison Davidson expects both Zivcicova and Adamski to recover from their injuries and be ready to play out the few remaining games left in the season. Davidson expressed the importance of the remaining Big East games. “The results could make or break us for the Big East, and we want to make sure we are in a good position to prove ourselves at the tournament,” said Davidson.
Men’s Tennis The St. John’s men’s tennis team racked up wins against Stony Brook and Connecticut over the weekend in Queens.
On Friday, the Red Storm began its weekend by shutting out Stony Brook, 7-0. St. John’s jumped out in front early when Artem Vlasenko and Gustavo Loza commandingly took the first doubles match point, 8-0. The Johnnies’ swept through to win each of the next two doubles matches by the identical score of 8-6.
The romp continued on to the singles matches where the Red Storm took all six points consecutively. Alex Svetlakov and Asaf Honig respectively won their singles matches in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2, and 6-3, 6-0, at No. 2 and 6.
The outcome of Saturday’s game against Big East rival Connecticut proved not to be much different from the previous day as St. John’s routed the Huskies, 6-1. St. John’s defeated UConn in all three of the doubles matches to earn the doubles point.
In singles, Svetlakov won his singles match at No. 1 against Connecticut’s Joe Goldstein, 6-2, 6-4. The rest of the team kept it rolling as Gustavo Loza, Pavel Cerny and Asaf Honig also contributed with dominant play in taking their respective singles match in No. 2, 3 and 4. Jordan Talbot finished off the Huskies by defeating UConn’s Tom Cook, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.The St. John’s men’s tennis team postponed its remaining scheduled matches over the weekend against Monmouth, Marist and Rhode Island because of cold weather.