Cayce, S.C. - Senior Hannah Liljekvist (Djursholm, Sweden) and sophomore Luize Strike (Riga, Lativa) got the Seton Hall women’s tennis team off on the right foot, winning the first doubles match of the team’s BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal vs. St. John’s, but the Red Storm wound up coming back to win the next two doubles matches to steal the point, sparking a 4-0 victory over the Pirates Friday at the Cayce Tennis & Fitness Center.
The match was played using the clinch rule, meaning that play was stopped as soon as St. John’s earned the fourth point to clinch victory. At the time play was halted, the Pirates were in the lead in three singles games, meaning the match was much closer than the score indicated.
The No. 6 seed Pirates will move into the consolation round and face No. 7 seed Villanova Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The No. 3 seed Red Storm now take on No. 2 seed Xavier in the semifinals.
The championship bid got off to a great start as Liljekvist and Strike defeated St. John’s No. 1 doubles team of Natalia Vavulina and Sofia Stanisz, 6-2. In No. 2 doubles, St. John’s drew even with a 6-1 win from Stephanie Elgegren and Delia Arranz over Katie Kim (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.). The doubles point came down to the No. 3 group, and freshmen Anna Fajinorova (Bratislava, Slovakia) and Thandy Kangwa (Fort Myers, Fla.) were strong, but ultimately lost to Anna Morozova and Jade Collins, 7-5.
In singles, the Pirates put up strong efforts, but were victims of the clinch rule. St. John’s picked up straight set victories at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6 singles, overshadowing The Hall’s strong performances elsewhere. At No. 2, Liljekvist was leading in the third set, at No. 4 Keenan was leading and close to a straight set victory and at No. 5 Isabell Klingert (Oberbalbach, Germany) was also ahead when play halted.
The Pirates will regroup and take on a Villanova squad whom The Hall defeated 7-0 back on March 19.