Cornell tennis came away empty handed this past weekend against Ivy opponents Harvard and Dartmouth. The men fell to the Crimson, 7-0, while the women suffered a 6-1 defeat. Both squads had tighter matches against Dartmouth however, each losing with a close 4-3 final score line.
Women’s head coach Mike Stevens praised the Red’s doubles performance, but noted that singles play is something the squad will be emphasizing this week in practice.
“Our doubles teams have been playing very well,” Stevens said. “We’re going to really focus on a lot of the singles strategies for each of the individual players and work on having them come out a little bit faster in singles and … maintain that momentum throughout the whole match.”
Sophomore Ryann Young said that the Red will be more focused in practice in order to prepare for its upcoming matches against Brown and Yale.
“As our coach always tells us, you practice how you play,” Young said. “I think we all learned from [our matches this weekend] that we need to keep pressing, stay focused in practice, try our best each day and that will carry over into the matches. We still have a lot of work to do but we’re learning from each match. In my opinion, we improved a lot at Dartmouth from our Harvard match.”
Stevens indicated his goals for the team’s upcoming matches will hopefully help the Red add some more wins to its record this season.
“We’re going to have to keep the intensity and the focus up in both singles and doubles, be able to come out a little bit stronger on the bigger points and play with a little bit more confidence,” Stevens said. “Our expectations are that we’re going to be out there battling and work extremely hard to win both matches.”
The men will also use their court time this week to focus on strategies they can implement to turn their 0-3 Ivy League season around.
“We’re going to look at the videos of our matches over the weekend and memorize them — see what each person did wrong and what they can work on,” said freshman Sam Fleck, the No. 2 seed. “The main things though, are, we’ve got to stay disciplined in our games, not get frustrated when we’re down, and just remember what we’ve worked on.”
The team acknowledged that the losses reminded them of the level that they will need to perform at for the rest of the season to compete with the other Ivy Rivals.
“The Harvard team, they showed us how we needed to play,” Fleck said. “They play disciplined tennis, the kind of tennis we need to play for the rest of the reason, so it was good to see that work against us for the rest of our matches.”
“It showed us that we really need to focus on our doubles,” added sophomore co-captain Evan McElwain. “We really need to get some doubles points in these really close matches. Dartmouth really exploited how weak our doubles is.”
Against Brown and Yale, however, the Red remains positive in its chances on Saturday and Sunday.
“I think we should be confident, we’re starting to play better and especially after a good week’s training there’s no reason why we can’t go and win both those matches,” Fleck said. “Those two teams aren’t doing that well in the Ivy League this season either, so we’ll be confident that we can get the wins there.”
“We’re definitely hungry to get some wins after this losing streak we’ve had. We’re just looking to end the season on a positive,” echoed McElwain.