March 25, 2003

Tennis Teams Experience Drought

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The men’s and women’s tennis teams migrated to warmer climates over spring break as they competed against some stiff nationally ranked competition. The men’s first stop was Blacksburg, VA, home of Virginia Tech where the Red dropped a pair of matches to Memphis, 4-3, and the host Hokies, 5-2. The women also lost matches on the road, going 3-4 against Rutgers, 2-7 against Barry and 1-8 against Florida Atlantic.

The men’s team started strong against Memphis by taking the No. 2-4 singles spots. Winners were junior Julian Cheng, along with classmate Scott Paltrowitz and freshman Brett McKeon. Each had a straight set of victories. The doubles team consisting of McKeon and junior Michael Schlappig took the No. 3 doubles spot.

Against the Hokies, the men had a tough time, only winning two singles matches, yet no doubles matches. The lone wins for the Red came at the No. 4 and 6 singles spots, where juniors Aravinda Neuman and Scott Spencer each won hard fought battles.

Spencer, who remained undefeated in singles action by winning his tenth match of the year, was disappointed with the team’s play.

“We should have won the Memphis match,” he said. “It was a heart-breaker.”

The men’s trip had an upswing once they hit Florida, however. The team beat Florida Atlantic by a score of 4-0, Stetson by a score of 5-0, and culminated with a 5-2 victory over Iowa.

Cheng, Paltrowitz, and McKeon, all posted singles victories in the match against Florida Atlantic in the No. 1-3 spots, respectively. Cheng and sophomore Matt Cherner-Ranft teamed up to win the No. 1 doubles match, and the team of McKeon and Schlappig cruised to an 8-2 victory in the No. 2 doubles match.

The men, who begin their Ivy-League schedule this Saturday and Sunday against Columbia and Penn, ended the trip with a record of 11-4. With the current record in mind, Spencer is looking forward to a successful Ivy season.

“Everybody is getting better and better, and we’re going to be ready for the Ivies,” he said.

The women’s opening match of break was a tight contest that started in favor of the Red. Cornell began by sweeping all three doubles spots to claim the first points. Rutgers answered back in the singles play, however, by winning the first four positions. Cornell did not fair much better against the strong teams of Barry and Florida Atlantic.

Despite the losses, two players remained constant for Cornell. Sophomore Melissa Tu recorded wins against all three teams, including the Red’s only point against Barry. Junior Kate Sternberg turned in a similar performance, with wins against Rutgers and Florida Atlantic.

The women’s team also opens its Ivy season this weekend. The lady netters will take on the Columbia Lions this Friday at 2 p.m. in the Reis Tennis Center.

Archived article by Chris Mascaro