Having won its past seven matches headed into the weekend, including a win against Columbia to open Ivy League play, the Cornell women’s tennis team continued the streak by defeating Princeton on Friday. However, the Red was upset by Penn on Sunday to end the winning streak at eight. The team will look to use the loss as motivation when it hosts Dartmouth and Harvard this upcoming weekend for senior weekend.
Last season, Princeton defeated Cornell (12-5, Ivy 2-1) in the final match of the season, clinching the Ivy League Championship over the Red. However, this past Friday, the Red got revenge, defeating Princeton on the road 6-1.
Junior Priyanka Shah suffered Cornell’s only loss, dropping her overall record to 9-2 on the year. However, the rest of the Cornell squad took control, winning the other five singles matches and all three doubles matches. The Red also defeated the Tigers earlier this year 4-2 in the ECAC Indoor Championships.
Cornell looked to carry this momentum into its home match against the Penn, but the visitors won the doubles portion of the match, and the two teams split the six singles matches, giving the Quakers a 4-3 victory over the Red.
“We all just hate to lose,” said senior Alexandra D’Ascenzo. “It was a really sad ending to the weekend, so I think that knowing that we don’t want to feel like that for the rest of the season, we are going to go into practice this week and the matches this weekend feeling that we have nothing to lose.”
Four of the six singles matches went to three sets, and senior Marika Cusick, junior Lizzie Stewart and sophomore Mariko Linumo carried the Red, but ultimately, Cornell lost its first match since Feb. 20.
“It’s never fun to lose, but I think that everyone went out and played a really tough match, so I think that we all put everything that we had out there, so we can’t be disappointed by that,” Cusick said.
Although the loss was disappointing, Cornell will attempt to get back to its winning ways this weekend.
“Every match heading forward is going to be a close match, and we have to be as prepared as we have been before the last few matches, so I think that playing a really tough match like we did against Penn is definitely good preparation for what we are going to see this weekend against Dartmouth and Harvard,” Cusick said.
The Red will start the weekend hosting Dartmouth. The Big Green has defeated the Red in each of the past three seasons, but Cornell feels confident that it can turn its fate in order to have a chance to win this season’s Ivy League crown.
The next day, Cornell will play its final home match of the season at the Reis Tennis Center when it will face off with Harvard.
The Crimson defeated the Red two months ago at the ECAC Indoor Championships 4-3. In that match, Cornell won all three doubles matches, but the Crimson was able to win four of the six singles matches, securing the win. However, last season the Red defeated the Crimson 4-3.
“It should be an emotional weekend, but I believe that we are all going to be motivated to end our last two home matches on a high note,” D’Ascenzo said. “We’re always going out there just playing to win, and I don’t think that is going to change this weekend.”