It’s going to be an action-packed weekend for Cornell tennis. The men have home-court advantage against Army and Fairleigh Dickinson at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, at Reis Tennis Center tomorrow. The women will travel to West Point to take on Army at noon tomorrow and Temple at noon on Sunday.
The men’s squad is looking to carry the momentum from its convincing 6-1 win over in-state rival Binghamton into their match against Army. The Black Knights’ overall record thus far is 1-3, including a recent loss to Princeton, 5-2. Fairleigh Dickinson (2-1) has had a decent start to its season, but its only loss was a 6-1 decision to Army, three weeks ago.
[img_assist|nid=21618|title=Channeling Andy Roddick|desc=Junior Rory Heggie follows through on a serve. The men’s tennis team will welcome Army and Farleigh Dickinson to East Hill this weekend.|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]
Head coach Barry Schoonmaker has nearly solidified the lineup with senior tri-captain Dan Brous at No. 3 singles, and sophomore Kyle Doppelt, sophomore Josh Goldstein and freshman Jonathan Fife in the fourth, fifth and sixth slots, respectively. Senior tri-captains Josh Raff and Nick Brunner, however, are currently sharing the No. 1 spot.
“I think Brunner and I are flip-flopping most of the matches just so we can base things around matchups more,” Raff said. “We’re pretty comparable, so pretty much all year, unless one of us emerges as dominant, this is how it’s going to be.”
Heading into the matches tomorrow, the Red has plenty of confidence as a result of their strong matchplay and practice so far in the spring season.
“I think we have the upper hand this weekend,” Raff said. “The Army match is always one we want to win, we play them every year. The Fairleigh Dickinson one will not be quite as competitive, but I have confidence in both matches.”
In its second match of the season, the women’s team is also looking to extend its winning streak after beating Albany, taking all three doubles matches and five-of-six singles points to win, 6-1.
Army, which has posted a 3-5 overall record thus far, is coming off a 6-1 win over Connecticut. Temple (4-1) has also started off its season on the right foot with wins over Penn St. and Lehigh already in the books.
“I think the Army and Temple matches will be a good benchmark of where we are as a team,” said women’s head coach Laura Glitz. “Temple has had some good wins and is a very tough team, but if we play well we should win, and the same goes for Army.”
The lineup for the match, which will differ from the one Glitz played against Albany, will include sophomore Tammy John, classmate Liz Googe and freshman Susan Sullivan.
“This is only our second match, but it’s the first for Tammy, Liz and Susan,” Glitz said.
The singles players, in a yet-unspecified order, will be senior co-captains Kasia Preneta and Nisha Suda, Googe, John, Sullivan and sophomore Catherine Duboc.
This weekend’s dual matches will be the first for Sullivan, who beat Columbia’s Anna Varnay, 7-6, 6-0, to claim the Flight C singles title at the Cornell Winter Invitational, having sat out the fall with an injury. With three key players returning to competition, the Red is looking to set the tone early in the season with a string of victories.
“I am excited to get our season started and these are two good teams to start with,” Glitz said. “Right now, we’re just beginning our season, and all of these matches are to prepare us for spring break in Arizona, where we play some tough national programs, and then our Ivy season.”