Putting up polar opposite performances from one day to the next, the women’s tennis team earned mixed results as it split against Indiana and Binghamton at home this weekend.
The Red (6-5) started the weekend with a tough 6-1 loss to Indiana on Friday to end its short two game upturn following wins over Connecticut and Rutgers last week.
“[Indiana] had the mental and physical edge that we did not match,” said senior Priyanka Shah. “Going forward from this loss, I definitely want to see more courage being displayed on big points — that is how we will be able to beat better opponents.”
Cornell’s sole win of the match came from freshman Cheyenne Lilienthal, who continued her impressive performances from last week’s singles and doubles wins in the Rutgers match. The freshman was able to take her fourth singles match in straight sets, 7-5 and 6-3.
“I tried to focus in on the things I did well and that secured me a victory against Rutgers — taking initiative and the first strike after my serve or on the return,” said Lilienthal. “I came in and finished points off the net very frequently, and … I was able to take time away from her and come forward easier.”
Despite its lopsided loss to Indiana, the Red had a surprisingly quick turnover the following day against Binghamton. The squad earned straight set victories across the board for dominant 7-0 victory. Shah and senior Madison Stevens highlighted the match, dropping only two games in the entire meet to finish 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-2 respectively in their singles matchups.
Following the weekend’s results, the team has now won three of its last four matches and continues to stay above .500. The recent success comes as a comforting sign for a squad which has struggled with inconsistency in the early part of its campaign and underperformed after coming off an Ivy League title .
“Our coaches always say, ‘We want to peak starting from our first Ivy match,’” Shah said. “ECAC [Indoor Championships] was a great preview for Ivies … to see the level of play and understand what we need to do better as a team to be ready when we face them when it counts.”
Coming up for the Red are two more home matches to end a long six-game home stand. The team hosts Stony Brook on Saturday, March 3 and St. John’s University on Saturday, March 10.