September 24, 2007

Competition Picks Up for Cornell Tennis

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Most Cornell undergraduates might think of the weekend as the perfect time for rest and recuperation, but a select group of Cornell netters tried to notch up their intensity on Friday as they competed in some early-season action.
The women’s squad traveled to Penn for the 11th annual Cissie Leary Invitational and had to ready its game early Friday morning, as junior Tammy John, sophomore Susan Sullivan and freshman Sinziana Chis were all slated for main-draw singles matches.
Junior Elizabeth Googe enjoyed a first round bye.
John came though with the clearest victory, passing Maria Barousse of St. Bonaventure 6-0, 6-1. She overcame Penn’s Vidyia Dabir in similarly short order before undoing Ivy competitor, Carling Donovan of Columbia, the next day. John, continued in the singles bracket until yesterday, when she fell to Penn’s Charlotte Tansill.
Sullivan and Chis’s first singles matches were much more closely fought with both of the netters reverted to tie-breakers to come ahead of their competition.
Chis, 1-of-6, in the Red’s freshmen contingent, notched her win against Columbia’s Angela Hendry.
The Red were impressed by the freshman’s hard-fought victory.
“[Chis] won a really hard match over one of Columbia’s top players,” Googe said. “Everyone is really impressed by how mentally tough she is.”
In singles, Googe came down fast after her bye, losing against a Kansas competitor. Injury problems may have hampered her play. Her doubles partner — Sullivan — thought the problem may have begun during one of their doubles matches.
“That may have aggravated it a little more. Googe played through it and it was obviously hurting but she sucked it up,” Sullivan said.
In any condition, Googe and Sullivan progressed far in the doubles bracket, beating a Columbia and Temple squad before succumbing in an 8-5 match to Kansas’s top-seeded doubles squad.
“We’ve probably beaten teams that were better than they were,” Googe said.
While the women’s squad battled at Penn, the men were putting on their own show across the border in New Jersey. The men’s squad played in the Farnsworth Invitational at Princeton, where they too faced a wave of Ivy competition.
Three freshmen — Jeremy Feldman, Jonathon Jaklitsch, and Andy Gauthier — were among the men’s nine contributiors to the tournament.
Playing in Flight A singles, Jaklitsch picked up two wins in a total of four sets on Friday, beating Columbia’s Mark Clemente, 6-2, 6-1 and Princeton’s George Carpeni, 6-0. 6-1.
Feldmen had the same number of wins in an equal number of sets in Flight B singles against Yale’s Matt Schimmel, 6-1, 7-6 and Penn’s Andy Magnes, 6-3. 6-2.
But the really high intensity action was in the Flight B doubles competition, where Cornell was guaranteed a title with the pairs of Jaklitsch and senior Rory Heggie and Feldmen and sophomore Jonathon Fife both safely berthed in the finals slot yesterday.