Coming off of a sixth-place finish at the ECAC championships, the men’s tennis team is gearing up for its shootout against Army this weekend at the Army Fall Invitational. The Red will be competing against Yale, Penn State, and Army in the tournament, which will not count towards the team’s final record.
The weekend at West Point will give the Red an opportunity to see players in action who haven’t been featured in the lineup this season.
“I am bringing all the young guys because this is a really great opportunity for them to play really tough top-level players,” said head coach Barry Schoonmaker.
“This is a chance for the young group to prove that we are one of the top recruiting classes,” said freshman Kyle Doppelt. “This is a big opportunity for [the freshmen] to show what we have.”
Last week, the Red beat Princeton, 5-2, in its final match at the ECAC championships in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. This was a big boost for the team following its 5-2 loss to No. 2 seed Brown. Cornell also posted a first-round, 4-3, victory over Manhattan.
Junior Josh Raff said that although the team was aiming for a win against Brown, the team’s ability to recover and come out on top against the Tigers allowed the team to finish the tournament on a strong note.
However, Army’s team has some momentum of its own coming off of a successful run at the Tom Fallon Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The Black Knights had relative success in singles against Northwestern and Drake, finishing with a 5-5 record, but they struggled in their doubles matches, losing all three against Wisconsin.
No. 8 seed Yale defeated fifth-seeded Columbia in a consolation round match at the ECAC championships, showing that the Elis are also are a competitive team the Red will have to keep an eye on.
Penn State was the No. 1 seed in the ECAC championships, but it suffered an upset by fourth-seeded Penn in the semifinals.
“They are probably the best of the three teams we are playing,” Doppelt said.
Cornell’s team has six freshmen currently on the roster, but Doppelt feels that this large number has helped them create a unique camaraderie.
With the leadership of the veteran upperclassmen, the Red is prepared to tackle one of its final fall tournaments. The upperclassmen include senior captain Brett McKeon, the No. 1 singles player for the Red, and the duo of Raff and junior Nick Brunner, a top-16 doubles team in the Northeast and winners of the Princeton Invitational Open Division doubles title. Meanwhile, the players not traveling to West Point will be preparing for the Northeast Regional Tournament at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH.
“I am looking ahead to next weekend and the regional tournament,” Raff said.
Archived article by Catherine Borque