March 12, 2007

W. Tennis Remains On Winning Streak

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The weather is heating up, and so is Cornell tennis. In another weekend full of matches, the men defeated Georgetown, 6-1, and gave No. 56 Maryland a run for its money in a closely contested 4-3 loss, stretching their record to 7-2. The women narrowly beat UMass, 4-3, by claiming four singles matches after dropping the doubles point to start off the match. In doing so, the Red has kept its six-match winning streak and unbeaten spring season intact.

“I think one of the best things that we are doing is competing, and I feel that we are playing better with each match,” said women’s head coach Laura Glitz. “One of the other great things to see is the depth of our team. We’ve played different lineups, so everyone on the team has been coming through in these tight matches. The team has been working hard and it’s great that all the hard work is paying off.”

Maude Lecluyse and Ellen DeJong of UMass snatched away the No. 1 doubles victory from sophomores Shayna Miller and Catherine Duboc in a tiebreak, 9-8 (3). The Minutemen secured the doubles win when senior co-captain Kasia Preneta and sophomore Tammy John lost to Masha Pozar and Michele Spiess at No. 2 doubles, 8-4.

Freshman Susan Sullivan and junior Dana Cruite, however, made sure that the Red would not be swept in doubles, winning their match at the No. 3 spot by a score of 8-2 over Laura Munillo and Kristin Dipiero.

“Our doubles has been a little up and down, but I believe we’re on the right path to playing some good doubles,” Glitz said. “One of the main keys is to stay aggressive. I have been stressing moving and poaching in practice, and it’s nice to see the team implementing these things in matches.”

In singles, Cruite was the first to notch a victory for the Red, winning her No. 5 singles match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, over Stephanie Gimenez. Sullivan and Miller finished soon after by rolling over their opponents Lecluyse and Munillo by scores of 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 and No. 6 singles, respectively. Senior co-captain Nisha Suda brought home the win for Cornell by grinding her way to a win over DeJong at No. 3 singles with a pair of 6-4 sets.

“I think the team as a whole had a very positive energy that helped us to win the match against them,” Cruite said. “They were really good.”

The women are gearing up to compete against Glitz’s alma mater No. 18 Arizona State, No. 38 University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona over spring break.

“The spring break matches will certainly be a step up with the level of competition, and I want to see how we stack up. The Ivy League is getting stronger and stronger every year, so we need to be able to play against strong opponents.”

In their 6-1 win over the Hoyas, the men dropped the doubles point but swept every singles match. The No. 1 doubles pair of senior tri-captains Nick Brunner and Josh Raff easily handed Etienne Paris and Kevin Walsh an 8-3 loss. Georgetown picked up wins over senior tri-captain Dan Brous and junior Rory Heggie at No. 2 doubles, 8-6, and over sophomore tandem Kyle Doppelt and Marc Asch, 8-3 at No. 3 doubles.

The Red bounced back in singles play, however, beginning with Raff’s quick 6-1, 6-2 win over Jeffrey Schnell at No. 2 singles. His teammate Brunner lost just two games in his victory at No. 1 singles over Anthony Tan, 6-2, 6-0. A pair of breaks was enough to give Brous the win over Will Lowell at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-4.

At the No. 4, 5, and 6 singles spots, the Red showed its grit by pulling out wins in close matches. Heggie defeated Adam Gross at fourth singles 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, while freshman Jonathan Fife survived a first-set tiebreak to beat Paris in straight sets, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Sophomore Peter Kung rebounded from a first set loss to take out Ted Tywang at sixth singles, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

“The match against Georgetown was a great opportunity for us to practice outside since we’ll be doing that over spring break,” Kung said. “We were looking forward to playing outside against Maryland, but we ended up going inside. [Maryland] was a lot tougher than Georgetown, but we played a lot better against them than against all the less competitive teams we’ve been playing.”

Maryland kicked off the match by taking the doubles point from the Red with wins at second and third doubles over Brous and Heggie, 8-4, and Doppelt and Asch, 8-4. At No. 1 doubles Brunner and Raff took their match, 8-5, over the Terrapins’ David Kwon and Boris Fetbroyt.

“The doubles point again made a big difference,” Kung said. “We have a really good doubles lineup, but we need to start in a groove early and go for every point.”

The Terrapins and the Red each won three singles matches, giving Maryland the victory. At No. 1 singles, Brunner served his way to a strong win over Nicolas Frassynioux, 6-2, 6-4. Heggie came up with a victory at the No. 4 spot with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Nickolai Nielsen, while Kung defeated his opponent, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6.

“It was a matter of close points all the way to the bottom of the lineup,” Kung said. “We were all pretty pumped up, but we didn’t come through at the end when we needed to keep the energy up.”