April 16, 2007

Men’s Tennis Defeats Brown; Women Fall to Ivy Rivals

Print More

The men’s tennis team scored its first Ivy win of the season this weekend, defeating No. 69 Brown, 5-2, in an energetic match against rowdy opponents. The men’s win over the Bears was the only win of the weekend for Cornell tennis, however, as the men dropped a 6-1 decision to Yale and the women fell to both Brown, 4-3, and Yale, 7-0.
The men (13-7, 1-4 Ivy) kicked off their match by capturing the doubles point in front of a large crowd of fans at The Reis Tennis Center. Senior tri-captains Nick Brunner and Josh Raff cruised to victory, 8-3, over Brown’s Eric Thomas and Chris Lee, while junior Weston Nichols and sophomore Josh Goldstein dropped their set to Saurabh Kohli and Dan Hanegby, 8-4. The doubles point was handed to the Red when sophomore Kyle Doppelt and senior tri-captain Dan Brous closed out their match, 8-6, against Zachary Pasanen and Noah Gardner.
According to Brous, who is still recovering from a back injury he suffered during his singles match against Columbia on Mar. 31, the support of his team and the crowd helped him through his matches.
“Although my back was hurting during the match, the crowd really got my juices flowing,” Brous said. “I used that energy to play very well.”
Brous also led the pack in singles, finishing first among his teammates and defeating Thomas at the No. 3 spot, 6-4, 6-3. Freshman Jonathan Fife won in straight sets as well, outplaying Pasanen in a pair of 6-4 sets at No. 5 singles.
Brown’s Hanegby and Kohli pulled the Bears within a point of the Red, 3-2, by beating Brunner at No. 1 singles, 7-6 (5), 6-1, and junior Rory Heggie at No. 4 singles, 6-3, 6-2, respectively. It was Goldstein, however, who clinched the victory for the Red, coming back after losing the first set to defeat Gardner at No. 6 singles, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
With the match already decided, Raff also battled back from losing a close first set in which there were no service breaks, 6-7 (5) against Basudey Ratnam. Raff ran away with the second set, 6-1, and clawed his way through a third set that ended with Raff winning another tie-break, 7-6 (4).
“Brown was one of those matches that we had in the back of our minds all year,” Brous said. “Not only did we lose our match to them last year, but there was definitely some bad blood as well.”
Against Yale, as Brous acknowledged, the Bulldogs simply outplayed the Red. The only singles player to win a match was Goldstein, who won at the No. 6 spot against Josh Lederman in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Goldstein was a two-time winner on the afternoon, also winning the Red’s only doubles victory with Nichols, 8-4, over Lederman and Jeff Dawson.
The women lost a down-to-the-wire contest against Brown, 4-3, in much the same fashion as their 4-3 win over Dartmouth on Apr. 7. The Bears swept the Red in doubles to take the first point of the match, after which the top-4 singles matches were played.
“Brown only has four courts, so first through fourth singles went on, and it looked like we’d win all four of the matches,” said women’s head coach Laura Glitz.
The Red won three of the matches easily, as sophomore Liz Googe and senior co-captains Kasia Preneta and Nisha Suda each won in straight sets at No. 1, 2, and 4 singles, respectively. As Glitz emphasized, things looked positive when the Red was up 3-1 and John, sophomore Catherine Duboc, and junior Dana Cruite were dictating play at that point.
“Unfortunately, we lost all three of those matches,” Glitz said. “Dana lost the last match 7-5 in the third, so it was very close and a tough loss.”
Glitz also added that the women’s five-hour match against Brown affected it for the next day’s match against Yale, but Yale also just played better tennis as it swept the Red, 7-0. Duboc noted that the match against Yale was closer than the score indicates.
“The score appears to be a killing, even though each individual match was very close,” Duboc said. “This weekend just wasn’t our’s. There were many factors that contributed to our loss, and one of them was definitely that we weren’t at our home courts. Home court advantage is big, but it can’t dictate the match’s outcome.”
Duboc also emphasized that she and her teammates are using their losses to fuel them for their last two Ivy matches against Penn and Princeton.
“This week my teammates and I are putting all of our focus, efforts, and time into tennis,” Duboc said. “We want to come out with a winning Ivy record and in order to beat Princeton and Penn, we have to give 110% of our effort to tennis. Every practice this week is going to be intense and I know that if we play our best this week and work our hardest during practice, it will carry into the matches this weekend.”