Women's Tennis Falters Against Rutgers
Ashleigh Witte

Feb. 23, 2014


CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati women’s tennis team lost in heart-breaking fashion to Rutgers University, 4-3 in an American Athletic conference match Sunday morning at the Western Tennis & Fitness Club.

The Bearcats got off to a good start when they captured the doubles point. Senior Caitlin O’Gara (Springboro, Ohio/Bishop Fenwick) and sophomore Kelly Poggensee-Wei (Lake Villa, Ill./Grayslake North) beat Gina Li and Lindsey Kayati 8-4 for their third straight doubles victory and fourth win in their last five outings. Freshman Katya Bure (Springfield, N.J./Jonathan Dayton) and senior Sierra Sullivan (Austin, Texas/The Khabele School) fell to Vanessa Petrini and Farris Cunningham in a back-and-fourth match 8-5 on court No. 2. Shortly after, freshman Lauren Bellinger (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) and senior Ashleigh Witte (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) took down Lindsay Balasmo and Mariam Zein of Rutgers 8-4 to secure the first point of the match for UC.

Rutgers quickly erased the deficit, taking the first three matches in singles play. Cunningham put Rutgers on the board with a 6-0, 6-0 win over senior Carly Wilson (Fort Mitchell, Ky./Beechwood) in the sixth position. The Scarlet Knights added another point when Hannah Wille fell to Stefania Balsa in a hard fought match 6-4, 6-3. Rutgers took a 3-1 lead when Lindsey Kayati defeated Bure 6-1, 6-3 in the fifth position.



Witte got Cincinnati back on track when the senior won her third-straight singles match defeating Gina Li 7-5, 6-3 on court No. 2. O’Gara tied the match up for the Bearcats when she defeated Mariam Zein of Rutgers in the third position. With the score being tied at three all eyes were turned to court No. 1 where Poggensee-Wei and Petrini battled in a decisive third set. The No. 1 singles player for the Bearcats took the first set 6-2 before falling in in consecutive sets 2-6 and 3-6.

With the loss, Cincinnati falls to 4-7 on the season and Rutgers improves its record to 4-3. UC will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to West Virginia on Friday to face another conference rival in the University of Connecticut.  

Rutgers 4, Cincinnati 3
February 23, 2014 – Western Tennis & Fitness Club

1 – Vanessa Petrini (RU) def. Kelly Poggensee-Wei (UC) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
2 – Ashleigh Witte (UC) def. Gina Li (RU) 7-5, 6-3
3 – Caitlin O’Gara (UC) def. Mariam Zein (RU) 6-3, 6-4
4 – Lindsey Kayati (RU) def. Katya Bure (UC) 6-1, 6-3
5 – Stef Balsa (RU) def. Hannah Wille (UC) 6-4, 6-3
6 – Farris Cunningham (RU) def. Carly Wilson (UC) 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 1 

1 – Pogensee-Wei/O’Gara (UC) def. Li/Kayati (RU) 8-4
2 – Bellinger/Witte (UC) def. Balsamo/Zein (RU) 8-4
3 – Bure/Sullivan (UC) def. Petrini/Cunningham (RU) 8-5
Order of Finsh: 1, 3, 2