Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Tennis fell thrice to begin in-conference play.

April 8, 2019

Women’s Tennis Struggles to Find Footing in Ivy Play

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The start of Ivy League play proved turbulent for Cornell women’s tennis. After falling to Columbia in the league opener, a trip to Brown and Yale extended the team’s losing streak to three.

The Red (6-12, 0-3 Ivy League) suffered a 4-1 loss to the Bears (9-9, 1-1 Ivy League) on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, the Bulldogs (10-8, 1-1 Ivy League) bested Cornell in a shutout 4-0 match.

Senior Mariko Iinuma and freshman Katherine Nguyen opened play against Brown with a tiebreaker win in their doubles match. However, Brown’s Alessandra Bianco and Juliana Simon countered the Red’s advantage with a 7-5 win against Cornell’s freshman classmates Maria Adiaconitei and Sarah Campbell. The pair of Valerie Ho and Khary Pryce fell 7-5 to their opponents, tilting the match in favor of the Bears.

“Winning the doubles point is a huge advantage because it’s easier to keep the momentum and take it to your opponent in the very first game,” freshman Valerie Ho said.

Ho clinched her tenth singles victory of the season against Sophia Reddy in a 6-2, 6-3 match. However, other singles players failed to produce Cornell victories. Iinuma and Nguyen lost in straight sets to their opponents, Devon Jack and Taylor Cosme at the number one and two singles spots, respectively.

Adiaconitei, at the number four spot, sent her match into a third set, but Brown’s Courtney Kowalsky eked out the win.

The team suffered a similar fate in New Haven the following day.

Going into the match, recent history favored the Red — the team triumphed over the Bulldogs twice, earning a 4-3 and 5-2 victory in the 2017-2018 season. These past results, however, failed to provide the Red adequate momentum to take down the competition.

The contest opened with a round of doubles which set the precedent for the rest of the match. The Bulldogs swept the Red’s doubles pairs with a score of 6-3 at the first doubles positions and a score of 6-4 at the third doubles position. Adiaconitiei and Campbell finished their match tied at 4 games all.

The singles round proved equally difficult for the Red.

Iinuma, Nguyen and Campbell, playing at the first, second and fifth spots respectively, could only manage to scrimp three games off of their opponents and lost in straight sets. The remaining matches were left unfinished as the three wins clinched the victory for the Bulldogs.

Comprised of five freshmen and one senior, the young team takes each match, whether it be a win or a loss, as an opportunity to grow.

“Something we can improve on is cutting down on unforced errors and dealing with the pressure on certain points,” Ho said. “As a young team, we haven’t been in these situations as often as other teams, and I think we can only grow from these tough losses.”

The Red return to action next weekend against another Ivy League foe in the University of Pennsylvania. The match will be played on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Reis Tennis Center.