October 10, 2007

Women’s Tennis Uses Invite as Preparation

Print More

Playing on the same courts that host the U.S. Open, the women’s tennis team notched 13 wins across 34 matches in the Collegiate Invitational that was held at the National Tennis in Flushing Meadows on Saturday and Sunday.
Freshman Ruxandra Dumitrescu, who turned up three of those 13 wins in her ascent to the flight C singles semifinals bracket, was the only Cornell netter to reach that level of the tournament.
According to head coach Rob Weiss, however, the results — good or bad — in a fall tournament is not nearly as significant as in the spring.
“The main objective of the weekend was to get a lot of match play and see where our girls stack up against some pretty tough teams,” he said. “It also gave me another opportunity to see the team play under pressure how they handle adversity. The results were mixed.”
Sophomore Susan Sullivan paired up with junior Liz Googe in flight A doubles to become Cornell’s winningest squad of the weekend, winning 8-6 and 8-4 before falling to a Penn duo, 8-4.
“We played pretty well, but I wouldn’t say we were unstoppable in our first two matches,” Sullivan said. “In the second match I think we started off pretty badly and got down 0-3. In the third match against Penn, they came out a lot more aggressive than we did and immediately took control of the match.”
Googe had suffered from back pains during an earlier match at Penn, but but seems to have recovered since.
“Googe is at 100 percent physically at the moment,” Weiss said.
Senior Dana Cruite and junior Shayne Miller only managed a single win, 8-4, in their run at the flight A doubles draw before dropping two matches 9-7 and 8-6, against Ivy competitors from Princeton and Dartmouth, respectively.
“I thought we competed well, with lots of intensity,” Cruite said. “It just came down to a few lost points here and there. I really believe that those matches could have gone either way, because it was such a small amount of points that decided the two matches.”
And practicing technique ran above picking up wins for Cruite.
“For singles, we’ve been concentrating on capitalizing on weak shots that our opponents may give us — being able to run up and take it early, instead of waiting for it to come to us,” she said. “For doubles, we’ve been working on poaching, and closing in on the net when we know that our partner has hit a great shot. So I think that these were the two main points we had in our heads going into this tournament.”
Even the Red’s clear runs at victory were shadowed by thoughts regarding the broader season. For instance, freshman Ruxandra Dumitrescu reached the semi-finals in the C Flight but, according to Weiss, needs to continue to prove herself to crack the spring lineup.
“Ruxandra had the best results reaching the semi-finals in the C division,” Weiss said. “But she will need to continue to improve if she is going to secure a spot in the lineup.”
Weiss — whose fondness for stadium runs was noted by one of his players — believes much of the team’s improvement will hinge on practicing a tough physical exercise regimen.
“The team is in pretty good shape but not where I would like to see them,” he said. “I will keep pushing them physically to get them stronger and fitter as it may come down to endurance in some critical Ivy League matches.”
Sullivan remained upbeat about the prospects for the team in the future.
“I definitely think we all came away from the tournament knowing that we tried our best. I think in the future all of our games will continue to improve and hopefully by the Ivy season in the spring all of our hard work that we’ve been doing now will pay off.”