After taking down a pair of opponents ranked within the top 30 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Fall Championship, Senior David Volfson fell in the round of 16 to No. 1 ranked and eventual champion, Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest University 6-4 6-4 on Friday.
The matches started last Wednesday, when Volfson beat Notre Dame’s 16th ranked Alex Lebedev, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Volfson, after dropping the first set, was able to regain focus and came back to win the final two sets in dominant fashion.
“I knew going into the tournament that the conditions would be very different than what I have been used to playing the last couple weeks, as it was quite hot and dry in Arizona,” Volfson said. “I believe there is some altitude which made the ball jump a lot higher than usual. I was just doing my best to adjust quickly to the conditions and to make sure I play each point like it’s the last.”
Volfson won 15 out of 17 service points in his second set to square the match at a set a piece before dominating the final set to move onto the group of 32.
Next up for Volfson was a 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 victory over San Diego’s August Holmgren on Thursday. After again struggling in the first set of the match, Volfson survived four match points in the second set before breaking Holmgren and eventually winning the tiebreaker.
“When you are playing at the National Championships and representing Cornell, it is not difficult to keep your focus,” Volfson said. “However, I would say the more challenging aspect is executing your game plan, especially against the quality of players that were at the event. As the matches went on I was able to find better rhythm in my shots and movement which helped me fight back in a lot of the matches.”
Going into the round of 16, Volfson had won eight straight collegiate singles matches. The eventual champion, Wake Forest’s top-ranked Petros Chyrsochos, kept the match on his terms before winning 6-4 6-4. Chrysochos dominated the entire field, only going into a third set in one match.
“I think there are a few strategic plays I could have executed better against Petros,” Volfson said. “In general, that is what I am working on most in my game; to be able to find ways to consistently play on my terms in order to have control of the matches.”
Although a loss in the round of 16 is not what Volfson wanted, he has proven he can compete with the best in intercollegiate tennis. Entering the fall unranked by Intercollegiate College Association, Volfson’s hard work with head coach Silviu Tanasoui is paying off. As for the rest of the fall, Volfson will rest up and get his body back before playing in future tournaments over winter break and eventually shifting focus to the spring schedule.