For a team that has not played a competitive match since the end of October, there is little evidence of rust on the armor of the men’s tennis team. After taking a causal three-month hiatus, the Red returned to action last night at the Reis Tennis Center against the Colgate Raiders in a match-up of talented upstate New York teams. Cornell snagged two of the three doubles matches and five singles matches en route to a 6-1 team victory, its first of the spring season.
“It was definitely a good first match for us, for sure,” said sophomore team captain Josh Raff. “There is always room for improvement, but it’s nice to start out with a win.”
The Raiders, looking to rebound after an 0-2 start to the spring season, jumped ahead to an early lead in the doubles matches, taking the number one match by a score of 8-4. No. 5 Reed Hagmann, Colgate’s premier starter, paired with teammate Mickey Gallagher to beat the Red’s combination of juniors Brett McKeon and Ray Wu.
However, Cornell refused to lose heart, winning both of the lower-seeded doubles matches to assure a team doubles point. Senior Matt Cherner-Ranft and sophomore Dan Brous defeated Colgate senior Peter Oman and freshman Tyler Deck, 8-4, and Cornell’s rookie pair — Rory Heggie and Tongle Yu — dispatched Colgate’s number three seed (Chris Innes and Scott Coope), 9-8 (7-3).
The Red dominated the singles matches, sweeping all of the spots except number one. McKeon lost a grueling match to Hagmann (6-4, 2-6, 6-4) in the top position, but Cornell battered the remainder of the Raiders for five singles victories.
In the number two spot, Raff demolished Innes in two straight sets (6-2, 6-0). The third spot saw Brous handle a resilient Oman in three sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-3), while Wu easily silenced Coope in the fourth spot (6-1, 6-0). Rounding out the singles wins were Yu and Cherner-Ranft, who put away Colgate opponents Gallagher and Deck in the fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
Adding to the Red’s momentum throughout the match was the support of an excited crowd.
Archived article by Kyle Sheahen
Sun Assistant Sports Editor