Facing tougher Division I competition this weekend in the Cissy Leary Invitational at Penn, the women’s tennis team proved it can hold its own among players of higher caliber. The Red did not dominate the brackets as much as it did last weekend, but many of the matches, especially the doubles, ended in close sets and tight tiebreakers.
“[The loss of some matches] came down to poor shot selection,” said junior Christine Ordway. “[But overall, the team] put one hundred percent into every match. Everyone tried their hardest, and that’s the most you can ask for.”
In the doubles bracket, Ordway and freshman Gabby Sullivan fell in the round of 16, 8-4, to Petra Januskova and Nina Sertic of Penn State. The other three Cornell teams lost in the first round. The matches were close, with Maryland opponents Ana Belzunce and Jordan Hansbrough taking junior Sara O’Neil and sophomore Ryann Young to a tiebreaker; the Cornellians fell, 8-7, 7-6 (5). Columbia’s Renata Arshavskaya and Adel Arshavskaya also needed a tiebreaker to defeat freshmen Lauren Frazier and Nina Turudic, 8-7, 7-6 (6). The other freshman pairing, Rosemary Li and Sara Perelman lost, 8-4, to the host school’s Stephanie Do and Alexandra Ion.
The Red had more success in the singles bracket, with three women making it to the round of 16. Sullivan fell in the second round, 6-3, 6-2, to three seed Nicole Bartnik of Columbia, who then went on to defeat Cornell’s Turudic, 6-2, 6-0, in her second collegiate match ever.
“I realized it’s really tough competition and there are other teams that are very good,” Turudic said. “I just want to do everything the best I can and do well in the Ivy League.”
Frazier won her first two matches against opponents from Maryland and Penn before setting up a round of 16 clash against her fifth-seeded teammate, Ordway. The junior beat Frazier, 7-6 (3), 6-3, to secure a place in the quarterfinals, where she lost in straight sets to Penn’s fourth seed, Agustina Eskenazi. Earlier in the bracket, Eskenazi defeated O’Neil, 6-2, 7-6 (2). Young and Li both fell in the first round to opponents from Temple and Delaware, while Colombia’s Bianca Sanon, the seventh seed, defeated Perelman, 6-2, 6-0, in the second round.
Young and O’Neil both reached the quarterfinals of the singles consolation, setting up a match against each other that they did not play out. Perelman and Sullivan fell in the third round of the consolation bracket.
“These competitions in the fall show us what we need to improve upon,” said head coach Mike Stevens. “We’re ahead of where we were last year in terms of progress as a team and competing as a team. Everything’s looking good at this point, and if we continue to stay healthy and work hard we should be in a good place when the Ivy League season starts.”
Original Author: Olivia Wittels