March 14, 2005

Tennis Teams Earn Wins Over Regional Opponents

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It was a weekend of dominating performances and convincing victories for Cornell tennis, as both squads handily defeated in-state rivals. On Friday, the men breezed through their matches against Buffalo, coming away with a 7-0 sweep. The women followed suit on Saturday, defeating Binghamton, 6-1. Led by the strong doubles play that has become the focus of prior contests and recent practices, both squads swept their doubles matches, providing auspicious starts to their respective matches.

“Even though it’s just one point, it’s a huge point that can set the tone for all singles matches,” said men’s junior captain Ray Wu.

The toughest test for the men came in the first of the three doubles matches. Sophomores Nick Brunner and Josh Raff, the 59th ranked doubles team in the country, prevailed in the end, earning a 9-8 win against their Buffalo opponents. Both of the Red’s other doubles combinations recorded identical 8-3 decisions, giving the men an early 1-0 match lead.

Heading into singles play, the Red’s dominance continued as five of the six matches were won in straight sets. Cornell’s number one singles player, junior Brett McKeon deftly defeated the Bulls’ all-time singles wins leader, Nick Zieziula, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. The only set dropped on the day was by freshman Tongle Yu, who normally plays in the six slot, but was bumped up to the second spot for the match. Yu won in a third set super-tiebreaker, 10-5, to seal the sweep.

The women continued their winning ways on Saturday, extending their current unbeaten streak to six matches against Binghamton.

“We’ve been stressing team unity and team chemistry. The energy and intensity are very good, so we are definitely on a good path heading into the Ivy season,” said Cornell head coach Laura Glitz.

As has been the case all season, the Red continued to receive outstanding singles play from the three through six spots in the lineup.

“It’s great to have that reliability in our lineup and have the three though six spots pull through,” said senior captain Melissa Tu.

Sophomore Nisha Suda in the five spot and Tu in the six spot each executed flawless play en route to straight set, 6-0, 6-0 victories. Senior Erika Takeuchi and sophomore Kasia Preneta put forth equally impressive efforts in the three and four spots, respectively, dropping a combined four games. The top of the lineup did not have as easy of a time with their opponents though. Junior Mollie Edinson battled through a first set tiebreaker before coasting to victory with a 6-0 second set. The Red’s only loss on the day came when No. 1 singles player , senior Akane Kokubo, lost a hard-fought third-set tiebreaker.

The victories leave both teams riding high heading into their spring break jaunts — the men to Florida and the women to Hawaii — in which they will face stiff competition in preparation for the Ivy League season.

Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer