March 1, 2011

Men’s Tennis Dominates Competition With Its New Doubles Lineup

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The men’s tennis has another successful weekend at home, winning in dominating fashion against its latest three opponents.While women’s tennis had a bye this week, the men’s team came out strong in all three of its matches on Saturday. In a double-header on its home turf, the Red did not drop a single set. Cornell rocked the Reis center, sailing to victories over Chestnut Hill, Kutztown and Roberts Wesleyan.

The day was a great opportunity for the team to mix it up a little bit.

“It was a good chance for some of the guys who aren’t Top-6 to play,” said senior tri-captain Andy Gauthier.

“[For] a couple of the freshmen and some of the new guys that have been traveling but haven’t been able to get in the starting lineup, [they] got a couple matches in,” said senior tri-captain Jeremy Feldman. “They all got to get some playing time, which was great. It was a good chance to represent Cornell.”

The Red also experimented with some new pairings for doubles matches.

“Everyone played with someone they hadn’t played with before,” Gauthier said. “That was fun — it was something new. We usually practice with our doubles partners, so it was fun to play with somebody different.”

Although the Red rolled through and did not drop a single set throughout the day, the closest of the three matchups was the second against Kurtztown.

Both Gauthier and Feldman acknowledged that although three matches in a row seems like a lot, they did not feel that it took too large a physical toll on them.

“I only played three doubles matches and one singles match, so it wasn’t that taxing [for me] because doubles didn’t play that long,” Gauthier said. “I don’t think it really bothered anyone.”

Feldman attributed the main reason for the team being able to hold up for three straight matches to the training the players received from head coach Tony Bresky.

“Our coach puts us through some tough conditioning, so at this point I’d say 23 matches in a row doesn’t really phase anyone on the team,” Feldman said. “I’d say all the practices and fitness that we’ve done throughout the year prepared us pretty well for playing three matches in one day. I don’t think anyone was particularly tired; I think everyone was pretty well prepared.”

The seniors came out strong against their three opponents Saturday, but the underclassmen were able to take away something from the weekend too — a knowledge of what they need to focus on for the future.

“It was an opportunity for some of the other players that normally don’t get to start to play and its great because we have a pretty senior-heavy lineup — we have five seniors — so we have a lot of players that aren’t starting now that are going to be big for the future of Cornell tennis,” said senior tri-captain Jonathan Jaklitsch. “So, it was great for them to get some match experience. It will really help them gong forward when they are in the lineup next year.”

This weekend, the Red has a bye, which will give the team even more time to work on conditioning and practicing.

“It’s sort of our last period of time off because after this we have matches pretty much every weekend,” Gauthier said. “It’s pretty busy here on out.”

At this point, the team feels that it is in a pretty good place, and there is not a specific weak point it needs to target.

“[We are] halfway through the season, I feel like were in a really good position as far as team results,” Gauthier said. “So just working on any individual things people need to work on to get ready for Ivy season will be helpful.”

The Red seems ready for the challenges that lay in the busy time ahead.

“Right now everyone is pretty confident,” Feldman said. “After winning the ECACs, we feel pretty good about the progress we have made so far from the fall and the beginning of our spring season.”

The team’s belief in itself helped it out on Saturday, and the squad hopes it will continue as it progresses into the season and prepares for the Ivies.

“We just found out today were ranked 40 in the country, so I’d say everyone felt pretty confident [going into Saturday] and they were just looking forward to having another opportunity to get some matches in,” Feldman said.

After its week off, the Red will test its stamina again as it has another triple-header the week after — once more at the Reis Tennis Center. The big competitor to watch for on March 12 will be Buffalo.

Original Author: Dani Abada