April 23, 2004

Tennis Volleys With Penn, Princeton

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As of exactly two weeks ago, the men’s tennis team had a 2-0 Ivy League record and was riding high with a 13-5 overall mark. But since then, the team has faltered, dropping three conference matches in a row, with defeats at the hands of Harvard, Yale, and Brown. The Red’s record now stands at 2-3, with only two matches remaining in the season, giving the team a chance to end the year above .500. However, after last weekend’s disappointing performances, wins against Princeton and Penn are not exactly certainties. The Tigers are 2-3 coming into the match, while the Quakers are 1-3.

“We are really excited,” said senior co-captain Scott Paltrowitz. “We have two great matches coming up. Princeton will give us a great chance to bounce back from last weekend. We have an opportunity to make up for those losses by playing them hard and coming out with a victory.” The Red will be hoping to rebound. After the loss to the Crimson, the team was excited to get right back on the courts and play well. Although the enthusiasm remains going into this weekend, there is no doubt that the match against the Bulldogs affected the team. After winning the doubles point, the Red relinquished the lead, losing four of the six singles contests in a match that Cornell was expected to take.

“It was a very tough loss,” Paltrowitz said. “We were definitely expecting to win the match. They played really tough and we just came up a little short. Everyone played hard and it happens sometimes. The next day against Brown, the loss was still weighing on us. But, after the weekend, we were really fired up to get back on the courts.”

While its men’s counterpart is on a three-match skid, the women’s tennis team recently started a streak of its own. However, it is a positive one for a team that has been struggling as of late. The Red entered last weekend’s match against Brown as the loser of six in a row, including an 0-4 Ivy League mark. Cornell had fallen below .500 for the first time all year. But, after a 5-2 thrashing of rival Brown, Cornell seems to be back on track heading into matches against Princeton and Penn to finish its season.

The Tigers enter the match with a 6-11 overall record, with conference wins over Brown and most recently Dartmouth. The Green was ranked No. 68 in the country, until it was beaten by Princeton last weekend, 5-2. The Tigers are led by its top singles player, Darcy Robertson, followed by a strong lower part of the draw. Against Dartmouth, Princeton used its strength in the bottom half of its lineup, with wins at the No. 4, 5, and 6 singles positions.

Although Princeton will prove to be difficult match, Penn will by no means be the easier half of the weekend. The Quakers, 6-1 winners over Princeton earlier this season, come into the match with a 14-5 overall record, including a 4-2 mark within the league. However, the team has lost two of its last three and is looking to finish its season off strong against the Red.

Although Cornell will not finish at the top of the standings this season, both matches this weekend will dictate the confidence the team will have at the start of the Fall 2004 campaign.

Archived article by Bryan Pepper
Sun Staff Writer