March 24, 2014

W. TENNIS | Red Wins Fourth Straight

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On Saturday, the women’s tennis team served out its fourth consecutive win against Binghamton University. The Red won the doubles point with senior Shannon Commoli and junior Lauren Frazier pairing up at the No. 1 spot, and sophomores Christy Kung and Dena Tanenbaum at the No. 3 spot.  Cornell split the singles matches for a 4-3 win over the Bearcats. With the victory, the team improved to 6-3 this season.

The women attributed a strong work ethic in practice for their success on the court over the past few weeks.

“I think that we’ve really been pushing each other in practice lately,” freshman Marika Cusik said. “I think that our work in practice has been showing in our matches and our results.”

Tanenbaum confirmed that the Red has been increasing its intensity.

“[We’re] working hard to step up our practices and bring up the intensity. [We want to] really get the most out of the two hours that we’re out there practicing on the court with each other,” she said.

Against Binghamton, Tanenbaum won her match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 1 singles position. Commoli won, 6-4, 6-2, at the No. 4 spot. The match came down to Cusik at the No. 2 position. The freshman rose to the occasion after dropping the second set to clinch the match in the third, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1

Tanenbaum mentioned that Cusik showed poise far beyond her years in the deciding set.

“At that point the match was tied and it was pretty close. Especially as a freshman, there’s a lot of pressure to get used to,” Tanenbaum said. “My whole team was really impressed with how composed she stayed going into that third set. It’s a lot of pressure to deal with, and she handled it really well, and stayed relaxed and really did what she had to do. She came out on top, which was really, really big.”

Cusik said that her teammates’ support helped overcome her nerves while in the unfamiliar situation of having to win her match in order for Cornell to also come out on top.

“That was the first time ever I had to do that. I was pretty nervous,” Cusik said. “I think I relaxed, especially because my teammates were really cheering for me, and I think that made a difference. I felt they believed in me so that I could believe in myself, and I was able to pull through.”

The Red is hoping for a fifth straight win against Army next weekend to boost its confidence before Ivies begins, but is not treating this match any differently even with the Ivy League season looming, Cusik said.

“We should think about it the same as any other match,” she said. “I don’t think we should put any more pressure [or] less pressure because it’s the last match before Ivies … We should prepare just as we would, not like anything special.”

Tanenbaum confirmed her teammate’s sentiments.

“Obviously we know that it’s probably going to be a close match. But we all know that we can win, and as long as everyone’s taking what we’ve been learning from the past couple matches and just using it as one last gear up match before Ivies start, that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “I think everyone’s really looking forward to this next match and getting one more win to keep our confidence rolling before Ivies start.”