For the third straight week, the tennis teams emerged from their weekend excursions with similar results. Unfortunately, those results were not favorable, as the men split their weekend matches and the women dropped two.
Over the weekend, the men’s team split a pair of 4-3 decisions, winning on the road against Penn, while dropping its final contest to Princeton at home on Sunday. The women dropped both of their matches, losing 6-1 against Penn on Friday and 5-2 to Princeton on Sunday.
Strong singles play was the deciding factor, as the Cornell men edged out Penn 4-3 on Friday. After falling behind 1-0 in doubles flight, the Red proceeded to capture four wins in the singles part of the draw for the team victory. The difference in the match came at the No. 6 spot, where freshman Tongle Yu rallied from a one-set deficit to win 1-6, 7-6, 6-4. Other winners on the day included sophomore Nick Brunner at the No. 2 spot, sophomore Josh Raff at No. 3 and freshman Rory Heggie at No. 5.
“After dropping the doubles point to Penn, we all knew that we had to step it up in singles,” Yu said. “My match against Penn was one of the better performances of my college career and the look on my teammates’ faces after I clinched the match is something I’ll cherish forever.”
With a winning Ivy League record on the line, the Red came up just short on Sunday, dropping a 4-3 decision to Princeton. The Tigers swept the doubles flight, in addition to winning at the No. 2, 4 and 5 singles spots. Junior Brett McKeon came away with a victory at the No. 1 spot, while Raff and Yu each won their second matches of the weekend.
“Overall, we viewed the season as a success since we, as a team, felt as if we could compete with anyone. Next season, everyone in the starting lineup will return and I look forward to competing with them again,” Yu said.
After a promising start to the Ivy season with a win over Columbia, the women — with two losses this weekend — dropped its final six matches to close out the 2005 season. On Friday, sophomore Kasia Preneta picked up the Red’s lone point, winning her third set tie break, 10-8, at the No. 3 position. The Red put forth several close performances in the singles flight, as sophomore Nisha Suda and senior captain Melissa Tu dropped three set affairs at No. 5 and 6, respectively.
The only other Red win on the day came in doubles action as the No. 1 tandem of senior Akane Kokubo and junior Mollie Edinson cruised to an 8-1 victory.
In its season finale on Sunday, the Red dropped a 5-2 decision to Princeton. For the second time on the weekend, the No. 1 doubles pair of Kokubo and Edinson managed the sole win for the Red in the doubles flight. Edinson did manage to pick up a point for the Red in singles action, winning in three sets at the No. 2 spot. Cornell’s other point came in the No. 5 position, as Suda won in a third set tiebreak, 11-9.
“This weekend was definitely disappointing, but we did put up a very good fight and played much better than we did against Brown and Yale last weekend,” Tu said. “Our record doesn’t indicate how much work went into this season. We, as a team, got out of it a lot more than our 1-6 [Ivy League] record shows.”
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer