It was a rollercoaster weekend for the Cornell tennis program as the men’s team annihilated Colgate, while the women dropped both of their matches.
With a dominating 7-0 victory over Colgate on Saturday, the Red men remained undefeated and raised their record to 6-0. From the onset, it was clear that Cornell was a superior team.
By sweeping the three doubles matches, Cornell earned the first point of the day. The top ranked pairing of senior tri-captain Greg Artzt and junior Pat Hagan handily won their match 8-1. The second flight team of senior Russ Gimelstob and sophomore Chris Lewis won a squeaker (9-8) over the formidable team of Andrew Davis and Jon Bedard. The number-three team of sophomore Mike Mestel and freshman Zach Gallin closed out the doubles competition with a solid 8-4 victory.
Cornell carried this momentum into the singles portion, as they steamrolled the Red Raiders, winning all six matches. Artzt continued his tremendous play in the top-flight match with a laughable 6-0, 6-1 win.
“We really crushed them”, Artzt noted. “Their level of play wasn’t that high, but every match is still tough.”
Of course, Artzt had plenty of help.
Second seeded Lewis destroyed Evan Paushter 6-1, 6-2. Also victorious in straight sets were third-flight Gallin, fourth-ranked freshman Scott Paltrowitz, fifth-seeded freshman Julien Cheng, and number-six Mestel. The dominant straight-set victories in all the matches were a testament to the team’s tremendous concentration.
“Sometimes against weaker opponents, there’s a tendency to lose focus. But today, we really kept it together, and it shows, because we didn’t lose a single set to them. We kept [going] at them”, Artzt noted.
However, the weekend was not as kind to the Red women. On Saturday, the women’s team suffered its first loss of the spring season at the hands of Eastern Michigan.
Eastern Michigan took control early, as it won the first team point by winning all three of the doubles matches. In the top-flight doubles match, sophomores Suzanne Wright and Daniela DelPrete lost 8-2. The second and third flight matches were both extremely close contests, but the Red ended up on the short end of the stick. The team of Demay and Gamarnic defeated senior Ngozi Amobi and freshman Kate Sternberg by a narrow 8-6 margin. Sophomores Alex DelPrete and Nicole Chiu suffered a similar fate, as they also lost by an 8-6 margin.
Singles play started ominously for the Red as their top player, Wright, lost in straight sets to Rebecca Hawkins. The team continued to spiral downwards, with the second-seeded Daniela DelPrete and third-flight Amboi dropping their matches in straight sets.
Although trailing by an already insurmountable 4-0 deficit, the team showed incredible spirit by continuing to battle. Freshman Laura Leigh Tallant forced a third set with Amalia Lincaru, before losing 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. In the fifth-flight match, Chiu won the first set but fell to Cheri Camarnic. The lone bright spot of the day was Sternberg, as she claimed Cornell’s only victory with an impressive straight-set win 7-5, 6-0.
However, the weekend only got worse for the Red, as the team lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision yesterday to the hosting Penn State Nittany Lions.
Once again, the Red dug itself an early hole by losing the doubles portion. Only the second-seeded team of Steinberg and Amobi secured victory. The teams of Wright and Daniela DelPrete as well as Chiu and Alex DelPrete lost their matches 8-2 and 8-1, respectively.
Despite battling valiantly in the singles competition, the Red could not break through. Top seeded Wright fell in a hard-fought three-set affair, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 and Daniela DelPrete lost in straight sets.
Finding itself down 3-0, the Red turned to Amobi, and she delivered with a clutch victory. However, in the very next match, the team’s fate was sealed when Jan Perez defeated Tallant in the fourth-flight match. Rounding out the event, fifth-ranked Chiu and number-six Sternberg secured straight-set victories for Cornell.
Archived article by Alex Ip