The Cornell men’s tennis team experienced their first loss of the season this past weekend during the ECAC championships. Last weekend was their first time competing against an Ivy League team in almost two years.
“We were training very well leading up to this event, and I felt that the morale of the team was quite high,” said Men’s Head Coach Silviu Tanasoiu. “So we were looking to see where we stood in comparison to all the other Ivies.”
On Friday, the Red (8-2) began the championship with a match against Yale (5-3), followed by Columbia (4-2) on Saturday. It finally closed the weekend off by competing against Princeton (6-4) on Sunday.
Starting the weekend off strong, Cornell overcame their first competitor, Yale, 4-1, for their eighth straight win. However, they fell to Columbia, 1-4, and Princeton, 2-4, solidifying a fourth-place finish in the ECAC championship.
“We’re trying to figure out where we are at this point in time, and [that championship] was hurtful, but I don’t foresee this keeping us back from getting better,” Tanasoiu said.
During the Yale match, freshmen Nathan Mao and Adit Sinha prevailed at No. 3 to secure the first win in the doubles point. Senior Pietro Rimondini had a tough start at No. 5, finishing the first game 2-6 but quickly turned it around, when he triumphed against his opponent during the second and third set, 6-4 and 6-2, respectively, to win the overall match.
The loss against second-seed Columbia was the Red’s first loss this season. The team received one match win from doubles Alafia Ayeni and Vladislav Melnic at No. 1, while the rest of the team could not defeat the Lions. Columbia secured the last and final match win before players at No. 2, Melnic, and No. 5, Rimondini, could finish their third sets.
Cornell was unable to cement a third-place finish on the final day after losing to Princeton. With no doubles points, Radu Papoe defended the home court and gained a win on the board at No. 3. At No. 2, Melnic achieved the Red’s second and last win of the day.
“It was a painful loss,” Tanasoiu said. “But at the same time, I thought it was a very valuable lesson. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves during that match, and I think it’s something we need in order for us to be where we think we can be [in the future].”
Cornell men’s team heads to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a neutral setting against Vanderbilt on Sunday, Feb. 27.
“I’m actually looking forward to getting back on the courts with the guys, and using all the lessons we’ve taken from this past weekend,” Tanasoiu said.
The women’s team matches scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 19, and Sunday, Feb. 20 against Boston College at Binghamton were postponed with no make-up date announced. The Red is still searching for a win, as their losing streak, 0-5, stands.
Next up is Indiana University for the women’s team on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 11:00 a.m. at Bloomington, Indiana. The Red will travel to Champagne, Illinois, following IU, to face the University of Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 27 at noon CT.