By DANIELLE LETOURNEAU
This past weekend, the Cornell men’s tennis team traveled to Philadelphia for the Penn Invitational. The Invitational used a mock dual-match system, which is similar to the system that is used for regular season games, but less formal.
On Friday morning, Cornell started the tournament on a positive note with a win over Georgetown. The team won all four singles matches. In the No. 1 position, junior Stefan Vinti won in a second-set tiebreak. Seniors Sam Fleck and Alex Sydney and sophomore Colin Sinclair each won singles matches in three sets.
In doubles, seniors Quoc Ngyuen and Kyle Berman handily beat their opponents, 8-3.
Later that day, Cornell had a close match with Penn State that resulted in a tie. Vinti was tied, 1-1, in his match when his opponent retired in the third set. After losing the first set 7-5, No. 2 Sinclair fought back to win the next two sets convincingly (6-1, 6-2). In doubles, Berman and Fleck had a tight match, which they won, 8-6.
Ngyuen said that although the squad was disappointed in the overall results, he thought Vinti and Sinclair had standout performances over the weekend, applauding them for their aggressive playing styles and sustained focus
“Overall I think the our team was disappointed with the results this weekend, besides a couple standout performances from Stefan and Colin, who stayed composed and aggressive throughout their matches,” he said.
On the second day of the tournament, Cornell lost to Minnesota. However, No. 4 Ngyuen managed to win both his singles match as well as his doubles match with sophomore Dylan Brown. Sinclair and Vini also won their No. 3 doubles match, 6-3.
Ngyuen cited mental toughness as the Red’s primary area of weakness and said that the squad’s limited playing time coming off summer break is a contributing factor.
“I think what a lot of us lack right now is match toughness. We haven’t had too much match play over summer break so it’s taking a while to get back into things,” he said.
On the final day of the tournament, Cornell battled against Columbia and lost, 6-1. Cornell earned its only win of the day at the No. 1 spot when Vinti dominated his opponent, 6-0, 6-3. In doubles, Cornell won at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
Fleck said he felt that there were many ups and downs throughout the weekend and emphasized that the Red needs be more aggressive in every match from start to finish to improve results in the future.
“A lot of the guys this weekend executed what we had been working on, but when it came down to important points we went back to playing safe rather than trying to be aggressive,” he said. “That really cost us. So we need to sustain the aggressiveness in our upcoming matches.”
Senior Quoc Nguyen had a strong performance at the Penn Invitational, winning his doubles match with senior partner Kyle Berman, 8-3. (CONNOR ARCHARD / SUN SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR).