The men’s tennis team continued its strong start on Saturday, beating St. Bonaventure, 4-3, and capping off a perfect weekend with a 7-0 rout of Rutgers. With the two victories, the squad’s record now stands at 12-1.
In the first match of the day, the Red ran into more resistance than it had expected, holding off a determined Bonnies squad 4-3.
Cornell was in trouble from the beginning, when St. Bonaventure (8-4) won two of the three doubles matches to take the first point.
However, the Red was able to pull out the match when sophomores Zach Gallin, Aravinda Neuman, Scott Paltrowitz and freshman Matt Cherner-Ranft all pulled out relatively easy wins in their singles matches.
“We felt it was going to be a lot easier than it was,” concedes Neuman, the team’s number four singles player. “We think we should have played a lot better.”
After squeaking by the Bonnies, however, the Red still had to take on Rutgers (1-4), a squad boasting one of its better teams in recent years and a major test for the Red.
“We definitely got a little more psyched up before [Rutgers],”relates Neuman.
The Rutgers match turned out to be the polar opposite of the match that had been played previously in the day.
Cornell quickly took the team point in doubles with victories at the second and third positions.
Of the six singles matches, only first singles player Zach Gallin dropped a set before he stormed back to take the second set, 6-1, and the deciding set, 6-3.
Sophomore Julian Cheng, Neuman, Paltrowitz, senior captain Stefan Paulovic and Cherner-Ranft all won their matches in straight sets.
At this point in the season, the Red’s 12-1 record is certainly indicative of its potential for great things in the coming weeks.
However, the squad has played mostly weak opposition so far and will see a steady rise in the level of its opponents as it inches closer to the Ivy League season. Cornell next travels to Boca Raton, FL on Mar. 19 to play Florida Atlantic.
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