Although it is still relatively early in the season, the women’s tennis team displayed the much-needed grit and determination to pull out close victories, earning a 4-3 win over Syracuse (7-3) on Sunday.
“I thought that the one thing was that we really competed well,” said Cornell head coach Laura Glitz. “It was looking a little bleak for a while, but I was impressed with how all the courts came back.”
The Red, now 2-2 on the season, did not come out to the strongest of starts, as the Orange swept the three doubles matches en route to earning a vital team point. While Cornell actually had a strong chance in winning the doubles point with a couple of closer matches, Glitz expressed that the team still needs to work on closing out matches — an ability which comes with added experience.
On the other hand, similar to its 6-1 win over Marist over a week ago, the Red’s lineup depth proved to be crucial in the eventual team outcome. While Cornell’s No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, Akane Kokubo and Mollie Edinson, both dropped three-set contests to their Syracuse counterparts, the Red’s three through six seeds all won their matches, giving the squad a close win.
However, at times, the Cornell win was far from certain. At the No. 3 position, Syracuse’s Carolina Huignard won the first set, 6-4, before her Cornell opponent, sophomore Kasia Preneta, took the final two sets, 6-2, 6-1.
At No. 5 singles, Cornell’s Nisha Suda faced an even more daunting task. Down a set, and 4-1 in the second, Suda proceeded to win five straight games to even up the match, before eventually winning the encounter, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Seniors Erika Takeuchi and Melissa Tu also earned straight-set victories in the four and six spots, respectively.
“[Syracuse was] a good team,” Glitz said. “I thought it was a really good win for us because it was our first really close match. Hopefully, this will be a good confidence booster.”
Glitz, who has said earlier that the Orange would provide the Red with a good gauge of where the team is at in this young season, said that every match that Cornell lost could have gone the other way. Still, as the team prepares for Ivy League action with four home matches before traveling to Honolulu over spring break, Glitz said that Cornell will benefit from the pre-conference competition.
The Red will try to continue its two match winning streak when Cornell hosts Colgate this afternoon at the Reis Tennis Center, before facing the University of Massachusetts and UMBC next Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor