After a knock ’em dead performance at the Virginia Commonwealth University 4-1 Tennis Invitational, the men’s tennis team is expecting just as much this weekend as they host the Cornell Winter Invitational. The three day event welcomes teams from UMass, Saint Bonaventure, Binghamton, Buffalo, Marist, Assumption, and Ithaca.
Cornell opened its season with four wins at VCU against Richmond, James Madison, Navy, and Old Dominion due mostly in part to its strong singles players.
“Everyone has an opportunity to win [in the tournament],” says head coach Barry Schoonmaker of his singles matchups for the tournament, “and that’s all you can ask for.”
Doubles struggled for the most part of last season, but signs of a turn around are beginning to show after senior tri-captain Russ Gimelstob and junior Pat Hagan paired up to take three of their four matches at VCU.
For this weekend’s matches, the team will be trying out new doubles combinations to find the right duo to top off the team.
One such combo is the pairing of senior tri-captain Mike Halperin with Hagan. Halperin, last season’s Ivy League Player of the Year, will only be featured in doubles after going undefeated in singles the previous weekend.
“Our doubles teams needs to do better this year, in order for us to do as well as we can,” says Schoonmaker.
“It will be interesting to see how things turn out,” said Halperin of the experimental doubles teams.
“It should be a good tournament, and good chance to see more from the new guys.”
The Invitational, which goes from Friday through Sunday, will give the Red a chance to live up to its high expectations.
“I think we’re the best team of the eight,” says Schoonmaker, “and we’re going to prove it this weekend.”
Archived article by Tammy Fang