The men’s tennis team competed for the first time in Ithaca since late February this weekend, and had mixed results. The Red defeated Yale on Friday by a score of 4-3, but was beaten by Brown, by a score of 5-2. Brown, along with Harvard, is one of the only two remaining unbeaten teams in Ivy League play,
The only victories by the Red against the Bears were both in straight sets by a pair of juniors, Julian Cheng and Michael Schlappig at the No. 2 and 5 spots, respectively. The big surprise of the day was at the No. 5 spot, where junior Scott Spencer lost his first match of the spring season.
Head coach Barry Schoonmaker said of Spencer’s defeat, “Scott’s been outstanding all year. He just didn’t make the clutch shots that he usually makes. You can’t win them all.”
Spencer mirrored his coach’s words when he said, “I’ve played really well all year. This time I just came up a little short.”
Spencer, along with the rest of the Red, had their strong showing the day before against Yale. Freshman phenom Brett McKeon, at the No. 3 spot, and junior Aravinda Neuman, at the No. 6 spot, both took their singles matches in straight sets.
Schoonmaker said of McKeon, who has been second in consistency only to Spencer this season, that, “It’s not a surprise to me how well he is playing recently, he’s been great for us all season.”
The Red got another singles point at the No. 4 spot by Spencer, whose match was noted by Schoonmaker as “the best comeback I’ve ever seen. It was an unbelievable effort by Scott.”
After winning the first set, 6-4, Spencer was dominated in the second set, 1-6, but inevitably edged out his opponent in a grueling third set. The Red got its deciding point in the match by taking the No. 1 and 3 doubles spots with the duos of Spencer and Schlappig, and Neuman and junior Scott Paltrowitz, respectively.
The Red, who finished the weekend at 16-6 overall, and 3-3 in Ivy play, have, “played well, because [we’ve] beaten the likes of Penn, Dartmouth, and Yale, without [our] best player, Zach Gallin, who has been out with an injury most of the season,” according to Schoonmaker.
The finale for the men will come next weekend when they will host the Tigers of Princeton.
The women’s tennis team made their first road trip of the Ivy League season to face Yale and Brown. The Red was defeated by the Bulldogs, 6-1, and by the Bears, 5-2.
Cornell’s lone victory against Yale was at the No. 1 spot by sophomore Akane Kokubo.
Against Brown, the Red earned two points with victories by sophomores Erika Takeuchi at the No. 3 spot and Melissa Tu at the No. 6 spot.
With the losses, the Red dropped to 2-12 overall and is still winless in Ivy play at 0-6. The Red’s last hope for a victory against an Ivy opponent will be next Friday in New Jersey when it takes on Princeton to wrap up the season.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro