October 15, 2012

TENNIS | Full Steam Ahead as Fall Season Comes to an End

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The men’s tennis team gave another stellar performance this past weekend at the Cornell Fall Invitational. Sophomore co-captain Sam Fleck and his doubles partner, classmate Quoc-Daniel Nguyen, claimed their second straight bracket win (they won the A Doubles Flight at the Columbia Classic two weekends ago), an 8-3 victory over Binghamton’s Alexander Maisin and Eliott Hureau. Fleck also reached the finals of the Red Singles Flight, ultimately falling, 6-3, to Buffalo’s Vusa Hove on Sunday.

After winning the C Singles Bracket at the Columbia Classic, junior Spencer Clark defeated Binghamton’s Alexander Maisin, 6-1, 6-3, in the finals of the White Singles Flight, extending his personal winning streak to an impressive 10 matches.

Overall, Fleck was very pleased with the level of play the Red achieved this weekend, which he partly attributed to the Red’s success at Columbia.

“I think we really implemented things we’ve been working on in practice into our match play, which definitely helped with our performances,” he said.

He added that although some teammates were “kind of rusty” after the summer, “we’ve gotten back into the swing of things [and] people are starting to play better.”

The men’s fall season comes to a close next week with the USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals in New Haven, Conn. Fleck expects the tournament to test the Red, but is also confident in the squad’s chances.

“It’s going to be a tough tournament because all the best players in the region are going to be there,” he said. “It will be a great chance for us as a team to see how we stack up against the other Ivies. We have a strong team … We’ve definitely got some players playing a high level at the moment — who’ve got a good shot at winning the title — which would be a fantastic achievement in singles and doubles.”

The women’s team did not have a match this past weekend, but ends its fall season with the ITA Regional in West Point, N.Y. this weekend. Junior Ryann Young believes the additional practice certainly helped the women hone the finer points of their games, especially doubles play.

“We played a lot of doubles this weekend, [because it] was one of the things we needed to work on,” she said.

She elaborated on some of the more specific approaches of the Red, including “playing the big points well, smart shot selections, competing on every point [and] trying to fight the nerves,” but was hopeful that executing those strategies would lead to success at West Point.

“This is the biggest tournament we’ll play in the fall,” she added. “[My expectations are for us to] stick to what we’ve been doing and focus on some of the things that we didn’t do so well.”

Though the fall tennis season comes to a close after this weekend, the women know the next few months will require a lot of effort to put them where they want to be before the spring season begins.

“I definitely feel like we do have some work to do, which is great,” Young said. “We have a lot of time before our main season … Our competition in the Ivy League is very competitive — there are a lot of great players. Just working really hard in practice, fitness-wise and mentally, is something that we have to do.”

Original Author: Olivia Wittels