Cornell women’s tennis delivered a productive weekend as it travelled to New Haven, C.T., to compete in the ITA Northeast Regional Championship — considered the biggest tournament of the fall season.
Freshman Sarah Campbell reached the semifinals of the qualifying draw, but was ousted in three sets by the University of Connecticut’s Jacqueline Lazaro (6-4, 3-6 ,6-4). Meanwhile, sophomore Ana Elhom lost a close 7-5, 6-4 match in the qualifying finals to Martina Bocchi of Massachusetts.
Adiaconitei had an impressive win over Colgate’s Mackenzie Deeter in the first round, winning comfortably in a 6-1, 6-4 decision — before falling in the Round of 64 to Syracuse’s Guzal Yusupeva. Adiocintei’s loss eliminated the Red from single contention in the tournament.
The two doubles teams of Adiaconitei/Ho and Elhom/Pryce were both successful in the Round of 64, beating their opponents in an 8-5 decision. But both pairs were defeated in the Round of 32 by the same 8-5 scoreline.
“As a whole, the team did well,” head coach Mike Stevens said. “With five players competing, there was a lot of improvement from a few weeks ago when we were last at Yale.”
Coach Stevens took time to note just how much the team has grown in such a short time, praising his players’ ability to adapt to a new environment and to adjust their games after each match. The roster is an overwhelmingly young one — with five of six players underclassmen.
“They continue to work hard, and they have a great attitude, which determines their success. We’re a young team, so that growth is important. The transition to college tennis is going well,” Stevens said.
With a brief respite before the team’s next tournament, Stevens stressed the importance of using the time to foster more individual development for each player.
“Serves and returns are the two most important shots for any team, and we will continue to work on them throughout the season, and those two things have gotten much better with all of them,” Stevens said.
Beyond the physical mechanics of the game, the coach further noted the importance of staying mentally focused in matches — especially during close sets.
“We focus on the game in between the actual points — the mental aspect. Each person is obviously different, but we try to focus on the basic rituals of staying positive and strategizing from the first two shots,” Stevens said.
With many sets and matches having come down to just a few points, the coach especially hopes to see his players better adapt to closer situations.
Cornell is next slated to compete in the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, which starts November 2nd, affording the team a well earned break for the next few weeks.