October 11, 2006

Red Travels to Invites

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Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams had strong showings in their tournaments away from Ithaca this weekend.

For the men, Cornell’s No. 40 nationally-ranked doubles pair of juniors, Josh Raff and Nick Brunner, pulled off a huge upset, defeating No. 7 Wake Forest’s duo of Andrew Hamar and Todd Paul in the first round of the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis championships at the University of Tulsa. Raff and Brunner won the pro-set match by a score of 8-5, advancing to the second round of the tournament.

The duo then nearly pulled off another victory over Virginia’s No. 23 Treat Huey and Somdev dev Varman, coming within the match point, but could not hold on for what would’ve been another remarkable upset.

“It was a really good tournament; the first time we’d seen that strong of competition. It made the tournament really worthwhile,” Raff said. “We know we’re among the best teams in the country. Playing these guys makes us realize that if we play well we can beat anyone.”

On the women’s side, the Red enjoyed a solid weekend at the US Air Force Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo. With little time to adjust to the altitude change, the Red went 12-6 in singles play, but struggled in doubles play on Day 1 of the tournament. However, the women rebounded on Day 2, coming away with a doubles title, as well as multiple second- and third-place finishes, and a fourth-place finish.

“It got better as it went along,” said sophomore Elizabeth Googe. “We had to adjust.”

It didn’t seem to take long for Googe, who made it all the way to the Flight III finals before falling 6-1, 6-3 to Colorado’s Veera Nurmi.

“I was happy to get to that point. Of course I would’ve liked to win it. But I was still happy with my performance,” Googe said.

The Red also had strong showings from sophomore Ashley Ebbert, who placed second in the singles Flight VIII, and junior Weatherly Schwab, who went undefeated in all three of her doubles matches.

Just as important as the invitational was for improving the Red’s record, the squad seemed to emphasize the benefit of competing outside the area.

“It was a really good bonding experience — nice to go out there and play other people [outside of the northeast],” Googe said.