At the halfway juncture of the Ivy season, both tennis teams came into its weekend matches with identical 1-2 league records. At this make-or-break point of the season, both squads went up against tough conference foes in search of critical victories. The men dropped a 6-1 decision at home against Brown on Friday, but rebounded to come away with a 4-3 victory against Yale on Saturday. The women did not fare as well, losing 4-3 to Brown on Friday and 6-1 versus Yale on Saturday.
On Friday, the men hosted Ivy leader, Brown. After sweeping the doubles flight, Brown proceeded to capture the top-5 singles matches on its way to a lopsided 6-1 victory. Freshman Rory Heggie managed to win at the No. 6 spot to avoid the sweep.
The next day, the Red hosted Yale. Like the day before, the match did not start out favorably for the men, as they were swept in the doubles flight. Needing four wins in the singles flight, the men managed to do so and emerged victorious. With sophomore Dan Brous, Heggie and freshman Tongle Yu winning at the No. 4-6 spots, the match came down to sophomore Josh Raff at No. 3 singles. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Raff bounced back and won the next two sets to secure the victory for the Red.
“We were all pretty disappointed after the Brown match and so we viewed the Yale match as a must win game,” Raff said. “We got destroyed in the doubles matches, but came out firing in singles and really increased our intensity. We have a lot of confidence and momentum going into this weekend’s matches.”
The women’s team returned to action this past weekend, looking to get back to its winning ways. After winning its first Ivy match against Columbia, the Red was subsequently stricken with two disheartening losses last week.
“We had a tough weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth the week before, so we came into this weekend looking to get back some wins,” said senior Akane Kokubo.
Against Brown on Friday, the Red started off the match well, taking the first point after sweeping the doubles flight. In singles action, while sophomore Nisha Suda and senior Melissa Tu secured wins at the No. 5 and 6 spots, respectively, the Red dropped the top-4 matches in the singles flight, despite pushing three of those to the third set. The following day, the women took on Yale looking for a split on the weekend’s matches. However, Tu managed the lone win for the Red, as the Elis left Ithaca with a 6-1 victory.
“We went into these matches confident and though the outcomes were losses, they could easily have been our wins,” Kokubo said. “Our team is playing well, it’s just that our opponents have come out strong as well.”
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer