March 26, 2012

TENNIS | Spring Break Matches Prepare Red for Ivy Play

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Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams spent Spring Break on the road, playing matches down South. The women’s team started its trip in North Carolina, where it faced UNC Wilmington, and then traveled to South Carolina to take on the College of Charleston and Costal Carolina.

The trip got off to a rough start, with the team falling to UNC Wilmington without earning a single point, but momentum picked up as the week progressed. The Red lost to Charleston by a smaller margin, 4-1, and then came away with a victory against Costal Carolina on Friday.

“I thought we really stepped up, and we fought really hard,” said sophomore Ryann Young. “We played really well and found a way to win our matches.”

Cornell faced UNC Wilmington on Tuesday before heading to South Carolina. Amidst rain delays, the Red competed against Charleston, which was a memorable match for the team, according to Young.

“It was our second match of the day, they were still all competing really hard and not giving up,” she said. “Everyone had a lot of energy, everyone was really into the match and that was really exciting to see.”

The Red was able to win the doubles point, but could not hold on to win the singles.

“[We] changed the doubles combinations up and all three doubles teams are playing very well right now,” said head coach Mike Stevens. “Our doubles did get better.”

Those improvements carried into the next match, as the Red won in a close competition against Costal Carolina. Young and junior Sarah O’Neil won both their doubles and singles matches.

“We ended on a really good note with a win against a very good Coastal Carolina team,” Stevens said. “They were 11-1 at the time, so it was good to get that win and finish on a very strong note.”

The men’s team hosted Penn State on Saturday, Mar. 17, and then traveled to Virginia to face Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the Red was not able to come away with any victories over Spring Break.

“I felt like despite the results, it still felt like we played some great tennis,” said head coach Silviu Tanasoiu. “I think this week we will address some of the things we’ve noticed. Overall it looks like we are coming together.”

The past week marked the end of the Red’s non-league matches.

“I think we certainly got a lot of good training in because we were lucky to get some good weather and practice outside,” said freshman Alex Sidney. “I think it was very good to get those matches in right before the Ivy season.”

The team is still in a transition phase, according to Tanasoiu, who only began his tenure as head coach a month before the fall season came to a close. Because of this, he has only had a few months to work with his young squad.

“There is a specific system that we are trying to get everybody to buy into as a team,” Tanasoiu said. “We are definitely a young group and its challenging with them coming from the juniors and having to transition into college tennis and a different style of coaching and training, but l do feel like the guys are buying into our system and the results are starting to show.”

Sidney echoed similar sentiments.

“I think as a whole we are a lot more concerned on improving and working on little things in our games so that we can play to our full potential in these next few weeks,” he said.

Original Author: Dani Abada

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