February 18, 2005

Cornell Tennis Continues Preparations for Ivy Play

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After contrasting performances by the men’s and women’s tennis teams last weekend, both squads are facing challenging competition this weekend.

The men are currently on a three-game winning streak going into away matches against No. 46 Michigan State and No. 49 Michigan. Cornell is coming off a two 6-1 home wins over Binghamton and Rutgers last Saturday, after opening its spring season up with a 6-1 demolition of Colgate on Feb 8.

A number of players on the Red are currently in strong form. Sophomore Dan Brous, who played No. 4 singles against Binghamton before moving up to the No. 2 spot against Rutgers, won both his matches in straight sets.

Junior No. 1 Brett McKeon, who lost his opening encounter to Colgate’s Reed Hagmann in a tough, three-set encounter, bounced back to win both of his matches last weekend, while sophomore No. 2 Josh Raff and classmate Nick Brunner — the top-ranked doubles team in the ITA Northeast Regional Championships in the fall — remain undefeated.

The Spartans will be a tough opponent for the Red on Saturday. With a 7-2 record thus far, Michigan State is coming off a 4-3 upset win over then-No. 19 Arkansas last Sunday. One hero in that match was freshman Brian Compton, who won his No. 6 singles match against his Arkansas opponent to help the Spartans to the victory that day.

On Sunday, Michigan will provide a similarly difficult test, with the Wolverines coming off a 5-2 loss to No. 18 Vanderbilt last Sunday. Michigan, which is 3-2 on the season, also has a top 20 first doubles pairing in sophomores Brian Hung and Ryan Heller.

The women’s team is coming off tougher results, as it dropped 7-0 and 4-3 matches to Boston College and Boston University, respectively. In its match against BU, the Red was able to sweep the No. 4 through No. 6 singles positions, with wins for Erika Takeuchi, Nisha Suda and Melissa Tu.

“I think we were a little nervous still because it was the first dual matches of the season,” said head coach Laura Glitz. “But I think they’ve had a good week of practice and are ready to go this weekend.”

This Saturday, the women will look for their first win in the early season when Cornell hosts Marist College, which has not played a dual match yet this spring. The Red Foxes match will be the first of a six-match home stand for Cornell. Playing at the Reis Tennis Center will benefit the Red according to Glitz, as the matches at BC and BU were being played in unfamiliar conditions.

Glitz said that since it is early in the season, it is hard to say how good Marist is. However, she is also confident that her girls will pull through.

“I think everybody has to find their confidence and groove right now, and I think they will,” Glitz said.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor