This weekend will be time for some members of the Cornell men’s
tennis team to think selfishly. They will not be playing for their team,
but for themselves. That is because they will be vying for individual
honors at the Northeast Regional Championships being held at Princeton.
In the Regional Championships, the top 96 singles players in
Division I-A schools in the northeast will be competing. Every school is
guaranteed of at least one participant, and additional slots are awarded to schools that are ranked higher. In addition to the singles tournament, there will also be a doubles tourney, in which the top 56 teams of the region will compete.
Among the schools that will be represented in the tournament are the Ivy League universities, schools from the Atlantic Ten, the Patriot League, and the Big East. This great diversity of programs ensures a large number of talented players that will surely make this an exciting event.
On the prospect of competing against good players from other schools, Red coach Barry Schoonmaker said, “It’s a great opportunity.”
Cornell will send four of its best to the event. Entered into the singles bracket are sophomore Zach Gallin, sophomore Aravinda Neuman, and senior Chris Lewis. Gallin is the highest ranked Red player, as he is the sixteenth seed in the draw. The sophomore will also team with classmate Michael Schlappig to represent Cornell in the doubles tournament.
As a first time invitee to the tournament, Neuman was excited at the opportunity to showcase his abilities.
“I’m definitely excited to play because it’s invitation only and good finishers move on to nationals,” he explained.
Schoonmaker knows that success for his players will be very much determined by the luck of the draw. He noted though that, “I think Zach can do some damage.”
Neuman was also confident heading into his matches.
“I’ve been performing quite well the past week and my game is really coming together. My volleys are up there,” he offered.
While winning matches in this tournament will certainly be thrilling, Schoonmaker believes that that merely playing in the event will give his players a boost.
“It gives them match experience and a chance to play under pressure. This will definitely help them when we start playing the team matches.”
The Regional Championships will be held tomorrow through Monday.
Archived article by Alex Ip