The men’s and women’s tennis teams wrapped up their seasons this weekend with losses to Penn and Princeton. For the men’s team (11-10, 2-5 Ivy), some positives can definitely be taken from two hard-fought losses.
On Friday against No. 50 Penn (18-5, 6-1), the Red fell 5-2. The high point, once again, was senior co-captain Brett McKeon’s stirring victory at No. 1 singles over No. 83 ranked Jason Pinsky, who has gone 17-5 on the year. McKeon dropped the first set but came back to win the next two, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. He has had a stellar senior campaign for the Red, winning big matches against Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth to go over .500 for the year.
Most of the remaining matches against the Quakers were hotly contested. Juniors Nick Brunner and Josh Raff routed Penn’s No. 1 doubles team, 8-1, but the Red dropped the other two doubles matches to lose the point. Especially disheartening was a loss at No. 2 doubles, where junior Dan Brous and freshman Josh Goldstein lost a pivotal match that was extended to extra games, 9-7. In singles, No. 2 Josh Raff and No. 6 Tongle Yu were each defeated in three tough sets after easily winning the first.
“There really weren’t many positives in this match,” said a disheartened Brous.
The Red was also defeated 5-2 against Princeton (7-13, 2-5) on Saturday. This time, it took the doubles point – but not without a fight. At No. 1, Brunner and Raff slipped by Princeton’s Andrew Lieu and Ted Mabrey, 9-7. Brous and Goldstein won in even more dramatic fashion, taking the tiebreak 8-6 to win, 9-8 (8-6).
The Red was overpowered in singles, however, as the Tigers took five out of the six singles points. Brunner solidified his strong doubles performance with an equally impressive singles one, fighting back to down Lieu, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Doubles partner Raff, meanwhile, lost a nail-biter in the third set, 2-6, 6-0, 7-5. Similarly, Tongle Yu could not hang on after a first set triumph and fell to Princeton’s Jonathon Leslie, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-8).
On the women’s side, the Red could not build on a promising Ivy season to achieve more than two conference wins, finishing 8-8 overall, 2-5 within Ivy league play.
Freshman Catherine Duboc was impressive Friday versus No. 43 Penn (12-5, 6-1), garnering the only point for the Red in a 6-1 loss. She handily defeated Princeton’s Alexis Plukas in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. None of the remaining singles players were able to win a set for the Red, which has struggled in singles play against Ivy competition.
The Red fared worse against Princeton (10-9, 4-3). The Red proved to be no match for the Tigers, losing 7-0. Duboc nearly pulled through at No. 4, falling in two close sets, 7-6, 6-4. Junior Nisha Suda lost in heartbreaking fashion, 11-9 in the third set tiebreaker.
“We are definitely disappointed,” said senior co-captain Mollie Edinson. “We wanted to beat Princeton especially. Unfortunately we weren’t ready to play against them.”
However, Edinson did emphasize the team’s positive season overall.
“The freshmen had a positive effect this year,” Edinson said. “We came really close to the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and if we keep working hard the team should definitely improve next year.”
Despite the losses, both teams have something to be happy about this season, as the season has been highlighted by the women’s team’s victories in two conference matches while the men ended a 45-match losing streak versus Harvard.