April 23, 2007

Tennis Teams Fall In Last Ivy Matches

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The Ivy tennis season rolled to a close this weekend for the men’s and women’s tennis teams, as each squad went down fighting, but ultimately lost to rivals Penn and Princeton.
On Friday, the women dropped their match to Penn at home by a score of 6-1, while the men lost by the same tally in Philadelphia. The men fell to Princeton in their final home match yesterday, 5-2, and the lady Tigers defeated the women’s team by the same score.
The men (13-9, 1-6 Ivy) came out strong against the Tigers (12-6, 5-2), playing a home match outdoors for the first time this season. Senior tri-captains Nick Brunner and Josh Raff made the most of their final match as a doubles tandem and seized the victory at No. 1 doubles, 8-4, from Igo Mabrey and George Carpeni. At the No. 3 spot, senior tri-captain Dan Brous and sophomore Kyle Doppelt fell to Sratha Saengswuarn, but the No. 2 pair of sophomore Josh Goldstein and junior Weston Nichols earned a key break of serve to defeat Peter Caprovic and Alex Vuckovic, 8-6, and take the doubles point for the Red.
“We started out the match really hot and we got the doubles point,” Brous said. “We thought we had a 8-6, and take the doubles point for the Red.
“We started out the match really hot and we got the doubles point,” Brous said. “We thought we had a great chance of taking out one of the top Ivy teams.”
For the last match of their collegiate careers, the tri-captains Brunner, Raff, and Brous played on three courts next to one another, while on the other side of the balcony, Goldstein, Doppelt, and freshman Jonathan Fife showcased the future of Cornell men’s tennis.
“We’ve had a good year and we’ve had a lot of fun,” Brous said. “Josh, Nick, and I had a great run; we’re great friends on and off the court. We told each other to cherish the moment, because it’s something we’re not going to have the rest of our lives.”
Princeton won its first point of the match as Goldstein fell to Alex Krueger-Wyman in two close sets at fourth singles, 7-5, 6-4. The Tigers earned a second point when Brunner was downed by Capkovic by a score of 6-4, 7-6 (5) at the No. 1 spot. Brous leveled the match at 2-2 by fending off three set-points in a tiebreak to defeat Carpeni, 7-5, 7-6.
Fife and Doppelt had each split sets and were engaged in battles with Vuckovic and Charlie Brosens at fifth and sixth singles, respectively. Vuckovic was the first to claim a victory for the Tigers, breaking Fife’s serve in the ninth game of the final set to win 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Soon after, Brosens clinched the match for Princeton as he defeated Doppelt, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Visibly affected by the heat and sun, Raff got down a break in the third set to Saengswuarn and began to come back, when his opponent pulled out the win, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4.
“Everyone fought really hard,” Brous said. “We lost a lot of tough singles matches, but they were all so close. One or two points here or there, and it could have been 5-2 us.”
In Friday’s match against the No. 69 Quakers, who clinched a share of the Ivy title with their 6-1 win, Brunner and Raff were able to defeat Jason Pinsky and Eric Riley, 8-4, at No. 1 doubles. The only singles player to prevail for the Red was Goldstein, who beat Justin Fox at the No. 4 position, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7).
The women (10-5, 3-4) also fell to the No. 54 Quakers on Friday in a match that was closer than indicated by the score of 6-1.
“If you look at the individual scores, they mostly come down to superbreakers [in the third set],” said senior co-captain Nisha Suda. “Penn is a tough team, but we really fought hard and maybe surprised them a bit with how hard we’ve been working. I think we made them nervous going into the singles matches.”
Penn won the doubles point, as only the No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Tammy John and Shayna Miller secured a win in a tiebreak for the Red, 9-8 (4). The only Red player to win a singles match was Suda, who defeated Lenka Snajdrova at fourth singles, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (9).
Among the close matches that made the difference between winning and losing for the Red were senior co-captain Kasia Preneta’s and junior Dana Cruite’s battles at No. 2 and No. 5 singles, respectively. Preneta took the first set, 6-1, against Yulia Rivelis, but Rivelis captured the second set, 6-4, and narrowly edged out Preneta in the third-set tiebreak, 11-9. Cruite split sets with Charlotte Tansill and had a 4-1 lead in the third, but fell to her opponent, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (9).
Yesterday’s match against Princeton was closely contested, but again the women came up just short of the victory.
The Tigers won the doubles point, as Preneta and Cruite were the only Red team to win their match at third doubles, 8-6, over Joanna Roth and Kristen Scott. Princeton earned singles victories at No. 1, No. 2, and No.4, as sophomore Liz Googe, Preneta, and Suda were each overwhelmed in straight sets. Miller lost narrowly in a third-set tiebreak to Roth at sixth singles, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0.
Winning the Red’s two singles matches for the Red were John and Cruite. John prevailed over Darcy Robertson at No. 3, 1-6, 7-6, 1-0, while Cruite made quick work of Sarah Huah at fifth singles, 6-4, 6-2.
“At the beginning of the season, [head coach] Laura [Glitz] told us to compete well, and I definitely think we did that,” Suda said. “Even Harvard had the idea that they were going to beat us, but we showed them, especially for future seasons, that we’re a lot tougher than we used to be. It bodes well for us, and not for them. It was a breakout season for us, and we’re out there to win.”