September 16, 2008

Men’s Tennis Scores While Host of Invitational

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Sometimes a short wait can go a long way.
After the men’s tennis team’s mediocre performance last season (6-9 against opponents in March and April), the Red seemed to find its mark last weekend at its first fall invitational, the Cornell Fall Outdoor Invitational, reaching the finals of five of the six brackets and taking the title in four of those.[img_assist|nid=31738|title=Honing in|desc=Sophomore Andy Gauthier gets ready to return a serve. Gauthier won the Flight B Singles title after defeating classmate Connor Sherwood.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
In Flight A singles, sophomore John Jaklitsch lost in the finals to Ivan Rummel of Stony Brook in a three-set thriller, splitting the first two sets (6-1, 4-6) before dropping the final set 6-2. In the Flight A consolation bracket, junior Jonathan Fife beat Ilan Shavartz, also of Stony Brook (6-2, 1-6, 10-7) in the finals.
Flight B singles pitted two Cornell players against each other in the final, as sophomore Andy Gauthier defeated freshman Connor Sherwood (5-7, 6-0, 7-5). Although no Cornell player made it to the finals of the Flight B consolation bracket, the team dominated both Flight A and Flight B doubles, preventing any other school from reaching the finals of either bracket. This was the first time in the history of the invitational that Cornell swept the doubles draws. The doubles winners will be decided this afternoon in two special title match-ups.
While Cornell has historically produced strong showings at its fall invitational, the performance this past weekend demonstrates the continuing evolution of a team with only two incoming freshmen, a promising sophomore class which has begun to prove itself last year and a strong core of talented upperclassmen.
Under the tutelage of new head coach David Geatz, whose teams at the University of Minnesota qualified for 12 NCAA tournament appearances total, the development of the Red, in terms of both ability and team chemistry, should prove one of the more engaging plotlines for the Cornell athletics program this fall.
— Compiled by Eric Haskel