It was a stellar weekend for Cornell women’s tennis junior Michelle Wang, who picked up her first two Ivy League singles victories against Dartmouth and Harvard. However, the Red still incurred two Ivy losses, bringing their conference record for the season so far to 0-5.
The Red faced its 2017 co-Ivy League champions, Dartmouth on Saturday and lost 5-2, with the two singles points won by Wang and sophomore Ananya Dua. Wang is now tied with Dua, senior captain Priyanka Shah and freshman Cheyenne Lilienthal for most singles victories this season as her record moves up to 7-8.
“I have recently been trying to focus on just enjoying competing and playing tennis, trying not to overthink everything and not just focus on the wins or losses,” Wang said. “My goal for every match is to get at least one percent better and just have fun.”
Finishing shortly before Dua against the Green, Wang’s philosophy clearly paid off as she clinched her match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
“I tried not to think about the score — it was extremely close the entire match,” Wang said. “When playing a match, it can be easy to have all sorts of thoughts run around in my head, but I tried to focus on my game-plan and stick to what has been working the entire match.”
Dua has continued to play a solid game in Ivy competitions. Last weekend against Penn (3-4), Dua came back in her singles match to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Her persistence and ability to control the match under tight situations again came in handy this weekend as she was victorious over Dartmouth, 6-1, 7-6.
“From the start of the match, I was very active during and between points, which I think contributed to my early lead,” Dua said. “I also stayed aggressive and stuck with the same game plan throughout the match, even when the games got closer in the second set. I focused my energy outward by cheering for my teammates, which helped me stay loose and relaxed.”
The highly anticipated match against Harvard Sunday was another success for Wang, but ended in a 1-6 loss for the Red. All of the other singles matches finished before Wang closed out her victory with a win in a super tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-4, (10-6).
“There were definitely moments where I was nervous, but I tried to capitalize on the nervous energy,” Wang said. “It’s almost the end of the season so I tried to take advantage of the few matches we have left and just enjoy my time out there!”
The Red look forward to hosting Yale Saturday and Brown Sunday at home at Reis Tennis Center to close out its season.
“My ultimate aim for the team is that we come away from our last two matches knowing that all of us gave it everything we had,” Dua said. “My personal goal is to end the season knowing that I put my best foot forward in every match, and played the best I could for my team.”