Both the men and women’s tennis teams had matches this weekend, with the results ranging from dejecting defeat to total and complete domination. The men traveled to Texas to compete in the annual H.E.B. Collegiate Team Championships in Corpus Christi, TX, while the women stayed in Ithaca to defend their home court.
The men’s team stumbled out of the gate, losing in the opening round to the University of Alabama-Birmingham, 4-1. Sophomore Dan Brous provided a bright spot on an otherwise bleak afternoon, as he defeated Tomy Werkmann in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. The outdoor courts may have hurt the Red’s chances, as it is more accustomed to playing indoors, away from the inclement weather.
“There’s a big difference between playing indoors and outdoors,” said head coach Barry Schoonmaker. “It was hard for us to play our best because we don’t get any practice outdoors until the spring.That hurt us a little against UAB.”
Undaunted by its performance, the team rebounded extremely well on day two of the competition. The Red came out reenergized and determined to put yesterday’s loss behind them when they were pitted against Southeastern Louisiana University, who had lost their first round match to Texas Tech.
“By the second day we started playing better,” Schoonmaker said.
The team came out firing on all cylinders, as they swept SELU, emerging victorious in every individual match it competed in. Resolute in turning the weekend around, the Red worked to move past its initial problems and make the tournament a success rather than a disappointment.
After their pasting of SELU, the Red’s surge was put on hold as a steady rainfall delayed the day’s events. It was not until hours later, at 11:30 p.m., that the team retook the courts to play its final match of the day. The Red continued its strong play when matched up against St. Louis University. Led by junior Brett McKeon, the team dominated, as they crushed the Billikens 4-0. Sophomore Nic Brunner won every game in the match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
The weekend concluded on a sour note, however, as all of Sunday’s matches were cancelled due to rain. The team would have been playing for ninth-place overall and a win would have guaranteed the Red the consolation bracket championship.
“We did decent. It would have been nice to have one more match to win the consolation,” Schoonmaker said.
The women’s team was more successful in its weekend matches. On Saturday, the team blew past UMBC, crushing the Retrievers 7-0, winning every singles and doubles match.
Senior Akane Kokubo struggled against UMBC junior Alessandra Pedergnana, but emerged victorious in straight sets, winning the match 7-5, 7-6. Junior Mollie Edinson and senior Erika Takeuchi also won their singles matches.
In doubles, the women had an easier time, as they cruised to victory in all three matches. Junior Kara Maloy and sophomore Kasia Preneta made quick work of their competition, as the two swept their match, 8-0.
Winning has been contagious these last few weeks for the team, and the women kept its streak alive, notching its fifth win in a row on Sunday against UMass. Cornell improved its record to 5-2, after starting the season a substandard 0-2. Both the Red and the Minutemen, were looking to continue their winning ways. However, the Red proved to be the stronger of the two teams, as it served up a 6-1 win. UMass (6-3) gave Cornell a highly competitive match, but was unable to conjure up the crucial win to push them over the top.
The bottom three matches proved to be pivotal, as the Red persevered to win each of them. Sophomore Nisha Suda won the first set, but lost the momentum after dropping the second. Suda regrouped and trampled her opponent 6-1 in the third and final set to secure the match. Sophomore Melanie Tu had the easiest time of any Red player, as she defeated junior Jana Bartoloni in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
“Umass is a very good team and everybody played really well,” said head coach Laura Glitz. “Overall I was very pleased with the weekend.”
Archived article by Ben Kopelman