April 13, 2009

Mixed Results From Tennis Teams

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In important matches against its Ancient Eight rivals this weekend, the Red tennis teams saw mixed results. The men’s team (12-5, 3-2 Ivy) remained perfect at home, beating Yale 6-1 on Friday and defeating Brown, 5-2, on Saturday. The women’s team, facing the same opponents on the road, dropped both matches, losing 7-0 in both outings.
The men matched up against the Bulldogs at the Reis Tennis Center on Friday. After winning the doubles match, Cornell was able to win five of six singles matches to complete the 6-1 victory and move to 5-0 at home. In the opening match, which lasted less than half an hour, senior Marc Asch and sophomore Mirza Klis defeated Erik Blumenkranz and Josh Lederman at third doubles, 8-3. While sophomores Jeremy Feldman and Andy Gauthier came up short, 8-6, in a hard fought match in the second spot, senior teammates Kyle Doppelt and Josh Goldstein ensured a Cornell victory at the top of the doubles lineup. Down a break to Mike Caldwell and Connor Dawson, Doppelt and Goldstein scraped back and picked up the break and two more games to take the match, 9-7, and earn Cornell the crucial doubles point. Goldstein was also victorious at No. 2 singles, beating Dawson for the second time, winning the first set, 7-6, and then cruising in the second, 6-1, to pick up the win. The victory helped the Red clinch the match.
“Against Yale, everyone stepped up and played well,” noted Asch. “Everyone came out quick off the bat. Although we fell back during doubles, we came back and that provided momentum for the singles match.”
On Saturday, it was the Brown’s turn to take a shot at the Red. Brown, which entered the day on top of the Ivy League standings after defeating Columbia on Friday, looked to hold onto its perfect Ivy record.
Cornell turned the tables on the Bears, 5-2, propelling the Red to second in the Ivy standings. Cornell’s depth was on full display, as it was able to pick up the doubles point from strong performances in its second and third pairings, and win half the matches in the singles flight. [img_assist|nid=36779|title=To the left|desc=Sophomore Andy Gauthier lost his doubles match Saturday against Yale, 8-6, in a tough contest.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Jeremy Feldman and Andy Gauthier earned a decisive 8-2 victory at No. 2 doubles over Chris Lee and John Pearlman. Lee and Pearlman entered the match ranked No. 55 in the nation. Klis and Asch continued their domination at the third spot, 8-4. The dynamic duo holds a 10-5 record for the season. In singles, Asch won a decisive match 6-3, 6-3, victory against Noah Gardner. Asch raised his season record to 14-1 in singles play. Feldman also won at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8, against Sam Garland.
“In Brown, we were facing the top team in the Ivy League,” said Asch. “We came out strong in the double and we were able to dominate as a result. The enthusiastic crowd also helped.”
“We need to build on this momentum and play well. All the Ivy teams are strong and we need to continue our recent play to find similar success.”
The women (6-11, 2-2 Ivy) were on the skids this weekend. The Red was bagled at Yale, 7-0, on Friday. The Bulldogs swept the singles flight, and took the doubles point. Junior Natalia Sanchez lost to Janet Kim, 6-0, 6-1, at the top of the singles flight. Sophmore Sinziana Chis made a comeback in the second set after being bageled in the first, taking it to a tiebreak. Chis was edged out by Lindsay Clark, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Cornell’s single win came at No. 3 doubles, with Senior Elizabeth Googe and Sophomore Ruxandra Dumitrescu defeating Lilian Nguyen and Stevi Petrelli in the tiebreaker, 8-7 (3).
The loss reflected Cornell’s main issue this season: the inability to win tightly contested matches.
“Most of these matches go to third sets or tiebreakers, but we end up losing,” asserted Natalia Sanchez. “We need to learn how to come out victorious on close matches, and that will come with time.”
The Red’s struggles continued on Saturday afternoon. Cornell was overwhelmed by Brown, 7-0, repeating their effort against Yale. Sanchez and Chis teamed up to defeat No. 69 ranked Bianka Aboubakare and Cassandra Herzberg, 8-6, for Cornell’s only win of the day. At No. 2 doubles, senior Shayna Miller and freshman Stephanie Kent were defeated, 8-5, by Carissa Aboubakare and Sara Mansur. In singles play, Miller came up short after splitting sets against Mansour, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (11-9); Googe also lost at the second spot, 6-0, 6-1, to Herzberg. The Red moves to 6-12 overall and 2-3 in Ivy play. Brown improved to 18-3 and 4-1 in Ancient Eight play.
“It was a very tough week,” said Sanchez. “Last year, we beat [Brown] and this year we were kind of taken aback by their new and effective lineup. The freshmen were really good. We had a chance to beat them but we just could not catch a break.”
The men’s and women’s team will look to add to the win column against Princeton this Friday. The men will attempt to defend its undefeated streak at home against the Tigers while the women will aim to halt their losing streak in N.J. Both matches are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.