The weather may be getting colder as autumn approaches, but the men’s and women’s tennis teams hope to stay red hot as they head off to their second matches of the year.
The men will head to the Princeton Invitational where they had success last season with a victory in the A flight doubles championship by the team of senior tri-captains Josh Raff and Nick Brunner. The Red will play a host of teams including Princeton, Columbia, Yale, and Penn. The women will head to the Cessie Leary Invitational in Philadelphia, which will feature many of their strongest opponents of the year.
The men’s tennis team had a strong performance at last week’s Cornell Fall Invitational, as it made five finals’ appearances, showing its potential for a great upcoming season. Sophomore Mark Asch was able to pull out a victory in the singles D bracket by defeating teammate, freshman Ashish Bhandari.
“That was the prettiest thing I’ve ever been involved in,” Asch said.
Asch was injured last year but came back strong with the sole victory for the Red in its season opener.
The Red will face some difficult competition at the upcoming Princeton Invitational, which will feature numerous Ivy League opponents. However, Cornell believes that it can maintain a high level of play.
“It will be a tough competition,” Asch said. “The Ivies are strong but our team is pretty talented.”
“The league is as good as I’ve seen it,” said head coach Barry Schoonmaker. “And I’ve been here for 18 years.”
While the men head to Princeton, the women’s team has a tough road ahead of it at the upcoming Cessie Leary Invitational.
“Competition will be tough,” said senior co-captain Kasia Preneta. “But it will be a great learning experience.”
Preneta made it to the finals of the A flight singles championship at the season-opening Cornell Fall Invitational, but hopes to pull out the victory this weekend.
“This is my last season,” Preneta said. “I am going to give it my all.”
The Red will face several strong teams this weekend including Minnesota, the University of Massachusetts and many of its Ivy League rivals.
“Our Ivy League opponents are strong but we have a really deep team this year,” said sophomore Tamara John. “I can see our team doing really well.”
The Red opened the season at the Cornell Fall Invitational with victories by sophomore Elizabeth Googe in the B flight singles championship and sophomores Catherine Duboc and Shayna Miller in the A flight doubles championship.
“We have a really good opportunity this year,” said head coach Laura Glitz. “Everyone is maturing and playing really well.”
The Red is going to need to keep its momentum going since this will be a crucial match as it faces some of the strongest opponents of the year.
“I’ve been coaching in this league for a long time and it’s been getting better each year,” Glitz said. “But we’re pretty strong too and playing really well.”
The women hope to maintain their strong play and accomplish their goals for the year.
“We want to be top in the Ivies and get a high national ranking,” John said. “I want to maintain a high level of play throughout the whole season.”
John believes that if her team can be focused in every match and continue to be very supportive of one another, then they will accomplish their goals this year. The men hope to bring the same positive attitude as they face their opponents in Princeton this weekend.