Men’s and women’s tennis both won at home this past weekend against the University of Nebraska (3-10) and University of Buffalo (11-3), respectively.
The men’s team (9-3) started off the season on a hot streak, winning its first eight matches. However, leading into the match against Nebraska, Cornell had been on a three-game losing streak. This past Saturday, the Red managed to right the ship and return to the win column against the Cornhuskers.
“I thought it was a gritty performance,” said Head Coach Silviu Tanasoiu.
Cornell raced to an early lead with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. The Red built on that, and breezed through its next three singles matches, clinching the match with sophomore Jack McCarthy at No. 6 singles. Cornell got its remaining two points with wins by senior Pietro Rimondini and freshman Adit Sinha at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, respectively, in super tiebreakers. Cornell’s only loss came from the No. 3 singles player, senior Evan Bynoe, who was forced to make an injury retirement in the second set.
Injury has been a prevalent theme for the Red, as players have been in and out of the lineup for the past few weeks. The health of the team is one of the main factors in its uncharacteristic three-match skid.
“We’re battling some injuries at the moment,” Tanasoiu said.
In the three matches the Red had lost this season, it did not have its full lineup. Regardless of what individual players are going through, Tanasoiu is proud to see his team continue to persevere.
“The guys [are] stepping up, and fighting, fighting very hard, despite the physical condition of the team overall,” Tanasoiu said.
The women’s team has had a polar opposite experience, as the Red (2-7) began the season on a seven-match losing streak. This slip ended with a 7-0 sweep over Colgate (6-4) on March 5. The team followed that up this past weekend with a 6-1 win against Buffalo.
Cornell won the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches to secure the doubles point and jump out in front early. Freshman Lan Mi and sophomore Lauren Stein, at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, respectively, won handily in straight sets to give the Red a 3-0 lead. Senior Valerie Ho’s win at No. 5 singles locked up the contest for Cornell. With this victory, the Red improves to 5-2 all-time against the Bulls.
The first win of the season against the Raiders gave the team the momentum it needed to beat Buffalo.
“It was nice getting that win [over Colgate] and sweeping them 7-0”, said Interim Head Coach Katie Zordani. “That momentum definitely carried over [to the Buffalo match]…the girls were happy with how they played and competed that day…that led to a great week of practice preparing for the match against Buffalo”.
The men’s and women’s teams look to ride their momentum as they resume play this coming weekend. The teams had a brief hiatus when three matches were canceled last week due to inclement weather. The men’s team will finish its homestand with a doubleheader this Sunday against Western Michigan University at 11 am and Bucknell at 3:30 pm. Meanwhile, the women’s team will travel to West Point to face Army on Saturday at noon and then will head to Massachusetts to face Boston University on Sunday at 10 am.