The Cornell men’s tennis team opens its fall season this weekend at the Reis Tennis Center, going up against Ivy League rival Yale, as well as Connecticut, Binghamton, Stony Brook, UMBC and Middlebury. Unlike the women’s team, the men play in the ECAC championships in the fall, so although this weekend’s matches are individual and not team oriented, they are still very important.
“We have two tournaments [including this weekends] that are leading to ECACs, and the winner of that goes to indoor nationals,” said head coach Barry Schoonmaker, “So obviously, this weekend and next weekend are to get us match tough, so we can peak for ECACs. Each weekend, the competition will get a little tougher, and will give us a good opportunity to find out our real lineup and our best doubles combinations.”
Returning for the Red this year is its outstanding senior class, including co-captains Zach Gallin and Scott Paltrowitz, Scott Spencer, Mike Schlappig, Julien Cheng, and Aravinda Neuman. Spencer, Paltrowitz, Gallin, and Cheng have all been hampered at some point by illness or injury in their three years on the Hill, yet all look to stay healthy this year. Also returning for the Red are juniors Abedin Sham, Matt Cerner-Ranft, Sunil Iyer, and sophomores Ray Wu and Brett McKeon, last year’s team MVP. A slew of talented freshmen have made an immediate impact on the team in practice, and include Charn Bak, Daniel Brois, Nicolas Brunner, Andrew Hong, and Joshua Raff.
Last year, the team managed to grind out a 15-7 record despite serious injuries to many of its top players. Wins over Army and Yale at the ECAC championships clinched the team a fifth-place finish for the second consecutive year. The Red also defeated Penn and Dartmouth during the Ivy League season, and lost heartbreaking 4-3 matches against Princeton and Columbia. Losing only one senior and adding a group of talented freshmen, Cornell will begin its quest to take home an Ivy League title this weekend.
Although Gallin and Paltrowitz, two or the Red’s top players are competing at Princeton, the team expects success this weekend. Matches start at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, and will continue throughout the weekend.
Archived article by Brian Clouser