For Cornell tennis, Saturday marked the beginning of an entirely new season. Until this weekend, both squads had been playing an array of non-conference matches, mentally and physically preparing themselves for the commencement of the Ivy League season. Over the next four weeks, the Red will have an opportunity to showcase its progress, as it vies for its place atop the Ivy League standings. The men’s and women’s teams were both in action this past weekend against Columbia to kickstart their respective campaigns. The women were successful in jumping out to an auspicious start, edging the Lions 4-3, while the men fell by a 5-2 margin.
The men traveled to New York City on Saturday to take on the No. 75 Columbia. The Red gutted through four three-set singles matches, only to come up on the losing end of all four of them.
“We worked really hard, we were really excited and had very high expectations for this match, so it was difficult to take the loss,” said sophomore Josh Raff. “It was very unfortunate to come out on the losing end.”
Sophomore Dan Brous and freshman Tongle Yu put forth strong performances, winning their singles matches 7-5, 6-3 and 7-6(4), 6-4, respectively, to provide the Red with its points on the day. Brous, along with his partner, sophomore Charn Bak, also managed to win the No. 2 doubles match, 8-5.
“The scores were so close for everyone who lost, so that’s extremely frustrating,” Brous said. “But all the matches could have gone in our favor, which builds our confidence going into Harvard.”
The Red will travel to Cambridge on Friday to take on No. 23 Harvard.
The women played host to Columbia on Saturday afternoon and had a more favorable beginning to their Ivy League schedule, winning 4-3. The women picked up the crucial first point of the match, as two doubles tandems won in three doubles pairings.
“Basically, that decided the outcome of the match,” said sophomore Kasia Preneta. “We felt more positive and more comfortable heading into the singles matches.”
Carrying the momentum of the doubles point, the women proceeded to win three singles matchups to secure the win. As has been the case throughout the season, the middle of the lineup once again provided the requisite boost. After wins in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, sophomore Nisha Suda pulled through for a straight-set victory at No. 5.
“It feels great to win our first match,” Preneta said. “We all felt if we could win our first match that it would be a great way to start the Ivy League season.”
The win improves the Red’s record to 9-3 overall this year. The Red will return to action next weekend, with home contests against Penn and Dartmouth.
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer