February 26, 2008

M. Tennis Losing Streak Hits Three With Losses in Michigan

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In what was supposed to be a road trip that would test their endurance and put the Cornell men’s tennis team on the national map, the Red came up short this weekend, losing 5-2 to No. 67 Michigan State on Saturday followed by another 5-2 defeat at the hands of No. 65 Western Michigan on Sunday.
However, the trip was not a total disappointment. Both opponents are in the top tier of college men’s tennis, and the Red was able to keep up with both teams’ levels of play for the duration of the contests. Junior Josh Goldstein hopes the tough competition will serve as an inspirational force to drive the team’s further improvement.
“The biggest lesson we can take away from this is to be a little hungrier, a little more motivated,” Goldstein said. “We’re definitely competitive enough to play with some good teams, but so far we haven’t been able to get wins … which is what really matters in the end.”
Against Michigan State, the Red came out flat. Cornell’s only wins were by a large margin at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots, held by freshman Jonathan Jaklitsch and sophomore Jonathan Fife, respectively. Jaklitsch won his match 6-2, 6-4, while Fife took both of his sets 6-3, 6-3.[img_assist|nid=28208|title=Serve it up|desc=Junior Josh Goldstein and the Red tennis team fell twice in Michigan over the weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red demonstrated noticeable improvement from its last match, a 6-1 loss to No. 39 Penn State on Feb. 9.
The result of Saturday’s match left Cornell hungry for a win against Western Michigan. Fife and freshman Jeremy Feldman won their singles matches at No. 5 and No. 6. The match seemed to be within reach during Goldstein’s game at No. 3 singles. Though the Red started slowly, the tide seemed to turn when Goldstein, down big in his second set, mounted a massive comeback.
“[Fife] and I were just starting our third sets,” Feldman said, “when Goldstein really started coming back, and the whole team got into it. We really had a chance to take it there.”
The end result should not overshadow the fact that the Red never seemed to give up during the match, which creates hope for the future.
The weekend’s losses dropped the Red to 2-3 after starting the season an auspicious 2-0. Cornell’s losses, however, have all come against ranked opponents, including No. 39 Penn State.
“Tennis matches can come down to a few points, and the team that’s tougher on that day gets the win,” Goldstein said.