March 28, 2008

W. Tennis Has Grown Into Ivy Threat This Year

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From the suffocating cold of industrial Pittsburgh to the torrential breeze and sun in Hawaii, Cornell’s women’s tennis team has wreaked havoc on their opponents, silently climbing up national rankings and becoming a power in the Ivy League.
Heading into the start of conference play, the Red are 7-2 overall, boasting a 5-0 record at home.
They also were ranked No. 69 nationally heading into their last match over break against No. 1 BYU-Hawaii.
Though the team lost that match—which was against not just the best team in the country, but singles players ranked No.1 and 6 nationally as well — their season has been littered with impressive wins, streaks, and personal achievements.
Last year, the team broke a 32-year losing streak to the Crimson.
This year, the team is well on its way to improving upon the 10-6 mark set in 2007, and, as competitive as the Ivy League is, the team does not look like it’ll be starting any other losing streaks any time soon.
Led by junior Elizabeth Googe and senior Dana Cruite, the team has lost only to BYU-Hawaii and Ohio State, ranked No.1 and No.45 respectively.
Though they ended in a loss, these matches are sure to serve as effective experience to draw upon when facing lesser opponents…like the ones coming up these next two weeks.
Yet while Columbia, Harvard, and Dartmouth may not boast the impressive numbers of the previous opponents, the combination of conference play atmosphere and a home court advantage for the opposition is sure to make each game hotly contested.
For while the Red are a very impressive 5-0 this season while playing on the familiar courts of Ithaca, their away record stands at 2-2.
Seven games are left in the season for the Red, and four of those matches will be played at away sites.
The coming weeks will define the season for the Red not just in terms of Ivy League play, but of the players’ ability to travel around the East Coast, playing and succeeding with matches in relatively rapid succession.
The team, however, should be well rested coming into Saturday’s matchup.
Nine days of rest assures enough time to recover from the trip to Hawaii, and the Red will be playing with a frustrated need to return to their winning ways.
After starting to season with five consecutive wins, the Red has lost two of its last three matches.
Playing four matches in eight days will surely test their resiliency, but as is evidenced by the team’s play earlier in the season, they have the ability to come back and win any and all close games.