Claire Li/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Spectators watch the men's Cornell v. Penn State tennis match on Jan. 30, 2022.

February 9, 2023

Men’s Tennis Keeps Rolling, Sweeps Weekend to Improve to 5-0

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For a team that has grown accustomed to fast starts to the season, this year has proved no different for men’s tennis. After taking all three matches of its opening homestand, the Red (5-0) hit the road for the first time this past weekend. The team took on the University of Nebraska (2-2) on Saturday, Feb. 4 in Lincoln before facing Drake University (4-3) on Sunday, Feb. 4 in Des Moines. Despite adversity, Cornell took both matches of the road trip to maintain a five-game winning streak.

The Red opened the weekend up against a Cornhusker team that was coming off of a shutout loss against Clemson. The Red faced Nebraska last year in Ithaca, winning that match, 6-1.

Cornell got off to a rocky start against the Cornhuskers, dropping the doubles point. The tandem of junior Samuel Paquette and freshman Petar Teodorovic was the only winning duo for the Red. The point came down to a tiebreaker in the first doubles match, which sophomore Jack McCarthy and senior Vladislav Melnic narrowly lost, 7-5.

Unfazed by the early deficit, the Red rallied in its singles matches. Sophomore Radu Papoe, Teodorovic, sophomore Adit Sinha and McCarthy all took their contests in straight sets. Cornell won the overall matchup 4-1, with the final two singles matches remaining incomplete with the score already decided.

Still in the Midwest, the Red faced the Bulldogs the following day. Drake was on a two-game losing skid heading into its matchup against Cornell.

The Bulldogs proved early to be Cornell’s fiercest competition of the season thus far. Drake took an early lead by winning the doubles point, before McCarthy lost his singles match, putting the Red in a 2-0 hole.

Papoe remained consistent in the first singles position, winning in straight sets to get Cornell on the board. Drake quickly regained its two point lead when sophomore Nathan Mao lost his match. Down 3-1, the Red needed to win out to take the overall contest.

Continuing the trend for the weekend, Cornell stormed back in its remaining singles matches. Though it took three sets for each of them, Melnic, Sinha and Teodorovic all claimed victory in their respective singles contests. Rising from the brink of defeat, the Red defeated Drake, 4-3.

The Red is seeking to match its feat of eight straight wins to open the season, which it accomplished last year. The team will get its next opportunity to stack wins on Friday when it hosts the University of South Florida (4-6) at Reis Tennis Center in Ithaca, NY.