April 2, 2012

TENNIS | Cornell Unable to Fend Off Lions

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The Lion’s roars — better known as Columbia’s particularly rambunctious cheering — proved to be too much for the Red to handle this past weekend, as the men fell 4-3 to their opponent. The two teams split the six singles matches, with Cornell earning wins at the No. 3, 5 and 6 spots by freshmen Alex Sidney, Danny Riggs, and Quoc-Daniel Nyugen, respectively. The Red (7-12, 0-1 Ivy League) failed to capture the decisive doubles point, losing two of the three matches in tiebreakers. Freshmen Jason Luu and Sam Fleck earned an 8-0 win at the No. 2 doubles spot.

According to Alex Sidney, more enthusiasm from spectators at the event might have turned the tides in favor of the Red on Saturday.

“I’d say getting a little bit more pumped up and getting together a bigger crowd [is something we need to work on],” Sidney said. “I think we’re doing a great job of fighting within each match, but if we could all together get a little more pumped up that would be great … I just think it was all a matter of luck this weekend.”

Head coach Silviu Tanasoiu echoed Sidney’s sentiments in that the loss was not due to a lack of effort on the part of the men’s team.

“Overall everybody played extremely hard — they fought their hearts out,” he said. “I was really proud of the effort and the way they competed. It’s a good sign and I’m sure if we keep doing the same thing, we’re going to come out on top.”

Tanasoiu stressed that in the future, the team will need to work on closing out crucial points.

“We need to make sure that we take advantage of the opportunities that we have,” he said. “We needed a little bit of focus on the right things when it mattered the most. I feel like we veered off a little bit from the things that we’ve been doing well in the crunch time.”

In New York City this weekend, the women’s team (9-4, 0-1 Ivy) also fell to Columbia (10-3, 1-0), 5-2. Junior Sarah O’Neil and freshman Lauren Frazier won their match at the No. 1 doubles spot, but the Red still lost the doubles point and three singles matches to the Lions. The squad’s two wins came from sophomore Ryann Young at No. 3 and freshman Gabby Sullivan at No. 4.

According to Young, the pressure of the event as the team’s  first Ivy League match of the season may have contributed to the defeat.

“Obviously our Ivy League matches are really nerve-wracking because the whole season builds up to these seven matches,” Young said. “We are a really young team, so just handling our nerves, playing our games, [and] not letting the other team control us [are things we need to work on].”

Junior captain Christine Ordway acknowledged that, like the men, poor performances on important points impacted the team’s final result.

“I think it comes down to the big points, and this past weekend against Columbia we just didn’t win the big points,” Ordway said. “If we really try and focus and buckle down on those big points I think we’ll hopefully come out on top.”

Original Author: Olivia Wittels