While plenty of Cornell students were taking prelims last night, the men’s tennis team had a test of a different kind. The Colgate Raiders brought their A-game, but they failed to take out the Red, which prevailed by a score of 6-1 at Reis Tennis Center.
“It’s such a good confidence boost,” said junior Rory Heggie. “We’ll need it for our matches this weekend and down the road.”
“Really all these matches are about getting out there and winning,” said head coach Barry Schoonmaker. “In most sports when you play against weaker teams and you’re supposed to win, you feel that pressure and you get tight. We’re practicing not doing that. It’s also about honing your game and trying to get sharp.”
[img_assist|nid=21933|title=Hop, skip and a jump|desc=Sophomore Josh Goldstein runs down a cross-court shot in a 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles against Army on Feb. 24.|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]
The Red started the match on the right foot by winning the doubles point, which has been a team focus in the past few weeks.
At No. 2 doubles, sophomores Kyle Doppelt and Marc Asch defeated Martin MacIntyre and Tyler Deck, 8-4. Junior Weston Nichols and sophomore Josh Goldstein followed suit at No. 3 doubles with an 8-2 victory over John Nogueras and Michael Yassky, sealing the doubles win for the Red.
Senior tri-captain Dan Brous and Heggie dropped their first doubles match of the year, 8-3, to Chris Innes and Marshall Wheeler, who served well and took quick advantage of early breaks.
“For me personally, it was nice that after Brous and I lost in doubles for the first time we could both bounce back and win our singles matches solidly,” Heggie said.
At the top singles spot, senior tri-captain Josh Raff took care of business against Innes in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Brous also easily defeated MacIntyre, 6-1, 6-2, while his doubles partner Heggie took down Wheeler, 6-4, 6-0.
Asch handed Yassky a loss at No. 6 singles with a score of 6-3, 6-2, but it was freshman Jon Fife who played the most focused match of the day at No. 5 singles, completely blanking his opponent Nogueras with a pair of 6-0 sets.
“Fife is playing pretty solid,” Schoonmaker said. “The only bad thing is that we need to get him playing better guys, he’s been steamrolling through his opponents lately.”
Colgate’s only point scored in the match came at No. 4 singles as Deck took the decisive third set from Doppelt in a heated 10-point tiebreak to win 3-6, 7-6 (5), 10-6.
“Overall the guys played really well,” Schoonmaker said. “Things came a little too easy for them against Stony Brook on Sunday.”
The men are looking forward to hitting the road this weekend and taking on Georgetown and No. 53 Maryland.
“I think everyone’s looking forward to this weekend,” Heggie said. “We haven’t played teams that have been that great so far, so now we’ll get a chance to see where we stand. It’ll be a good test.”
The Red has passed its most recent tests with flying colors, keeping together the momentum for its six-match winning streak. But the biggest test is yet to come, when the Red will begin its Ivy League season after playing in Santa Clara, Calif. during spring break.
“The Ivy League is really tough this year,” Schoonmaker said. “There have been years with better teams at the top, but this year everybody’s good. Every match is going to be tough for us to win; nothing’s going to come easy. I can remember teams that had 1-6 Ivy records, but lost several close matches by a matter of a few points, 4-3. If we come through on big points, we’ll do well.”