Coming off a successful campaign last year, men’s tennis looked to start this season off strong. Opening up at home in the Reis Tennis Center, the Red hosted the University of Buffalo (0-2) on Saturday, Jan. 28, and St. John’s (2-1) and Niagara (1-1) on Sunday, Jan. 29. Cornell swept its matches, jumping out to a 3-0 record.
On Saturday, the Red kicked off its season by hosting the Bulls. Last year, Cornell dominated Buffalo 7-0, and sticking with this trend, the Red came away with another convincing 7-0 win.
Cornell dropped only one set across its nine matches against the Bulls. At the top of the roster, sophomore Radu Papoe dropped three games in a 6-2, 6-1 victory in the first singles position. Papoe and sophomore Adit Sinha also won their second doubles match.
The sole three set match came in the sixth singles position, where sophomore Jack McCarthy rallied from a second set loss to win the super tiebreaker, 10-7. The Red had little time to celebrate this victory, as it was right back at it on Sunday, hosting a doubleheader against the Red Storm and the Purple Eagles.
St. John’s proved to be a far more competitive opponent than UB. After the Red dropped its top doubles match, it was the bottom of the order that stepped up to steal the doubles point on a 2-1 differential.
The Red had multiple clutch moments in singles play as well. Both senior Vladislav Melnic and sophomore Adit Sinha lost their opening sets before rallying to take the final two. Their perseverance proved crucial in a 5-2 victory.
Cornell enjoyed a less stressful win against Niagara, with its sole lost match coming on a third set tiebreaker in the fourth singles position. The Red posted straight set victories in its other five singles matches, as well as a sweep of the doubles competition, to take a commanding win, 6-1.
The Red has opened its season with three victories for the third consecutive year. Cornell will hit the road for the first time this coming weekend when it takes on Nebraska (2-1) on Saturday, Feb. 4 and Drake (3-1) on Sunday, Feb. 5.