September 17, 2012

TENNIS | Women’s Squad Shines at Cornell Fall Invitational

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The men’s and women’s tennis teams opened up play for the 2012-13 year over the weekend with individual tournaments. The men traveled to Princeton, N.J., for the Farnsworth Invitational, while the women hosted the three-day Cornell Fall Invitational from Friday to Sunday.

On the men’s side, overall expectations were not met in play at the tournament, though there were some shining moments throughout the weekend.

“I think our trip to Princeton wasn’t as good as we thought it would be,” said sophomore Quoc-Daniel Nguyen. “A lot of us lost early in the first round, but we were able to turn it around on the second day. In addition to myself, three of the guys got to final rounds in some of the draws.”

Partnering with Nguyen was sophomore Kyle Berman; the pair made it to the finals of the “B” Doubles Draw, where they fell to a duo from Georgetown, 8-5.

“It was the first time we played together so we were kind of nervous at the beginning about how it was going to be, but we ended up beating teams from Princeton, Columbia and Yale,” Nguyen said, noting that his doubles play with Berman was definitely a highlight for him of the weekend. “We complement each other’s games pretty well because he has a big serve and I’d say I’m fairly quick at the net.”

Berman also made it to through to the second round of the New Jersey Draw 2 as a singles player, though that draw will continue at a later date. Another match set for the future is the Lenz Draw Consolation final round between Nguyen and sophomore teammate Alex Sidney.

Junior Spencer Clark was able to make it to the final round of the Nassau Draw Consolation, but unfortunately had to withdraw from the match giving Buffalo’s Jason Shkodnik an automatic win.

The only senior from the Red’s roster that went on the trip was Brett Cromwell, who made it to the semifinals as a singles player in the Pagoda Draw.

“We had a couple of good successes here and there, but overall I think it was more of a disappointing trip for us. There’s a lot to take away from it and learn from,” Nguyen said.

Meanwhile, the women’s individual tournament seemed to find mostly positive outcomes for the players during the only home play they will see this semester.

“Overall we did great. We had at least one Cornell representation in every final, whether it be a singles flight or a doubles flight,” said senior co-captain Sarah O’Neil.

Indeed, the Red won three of the four championships at the Fall Invitational. O’Neil beat out all competition in the “A” Flight Singles, while “B” Flight Singles was won by freshman Laila Judeh. The “B” Flight Doubles was also won by sophomores Courtney Malinchak and Sara Perelman.

For the women, the tournament was different than the men’s Farnsworth Invitational, in that it was more intimate and did not feature any Ivy League opponents.

“It was a pretty small tournament with only three teams, and it was great that we all came out,” O’Neil said.

A doubles team from Buffalo defeated sophomore Lauren Frazier and O’Neil in the “A” Flight Doubles championship match, while Albany served as the third team playing at Reis over the weekend.

“It was good to start playing matches again because next weekend we have a tournament with all the other Ivies,” O’Neil said. “It was great to get match play in and get back into shape for next weekend.”

Going forward, the women will work at figuring out doubles combinations due to the four new faces on the team.

“We wanted to come out winning every flight and we won everything except “A” doubles, so there’s some room for improvement and that’s what we’ll emphasize, but it was a great showing given that its first event of the year,” O’Neil said.

Original Author: Reena Gilani