Jason Wu/Sun Senior Editor

Sophomore Radu Papoe had a straight set victory in Cornell's loss to VCU.

March 27, 2023

Men’s Tennis Defeated by VCU

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No. 30 men’s tennis (12-3) hosted No. 34 Virginia Commonwealth University (13-4, 2-0 Atlantic 10) last Sunday, March 26, in a matchup between teams that have had strong starts to the  season. The match was one of the last non-conference tune up opportunities for both teams before difficult conference schedules.

The contest started off with doubles, where VCU had a huge advantage against the ever inconsistent Cornell lineup. Sophomores Adit Sinha and Nathan Mao were defeated at first doubles by Maxence and Charles Bertimon, 6-4. 

The identical twins were ranked as high as 13th in the nation in doubles last season and have looked dominant this year as well. After a 6-4 win at second doubles by Matisse Bobichon and Rayane Stable, the Rams secured the doubles point.

The Red started much better in singles, as Mao came out hot. He took a quick 6-0 first set against Joaquim Almeda — the only member of VCU’s lineup not hailing from France — before weathering a second set barrage from the Brazilian to take the match in two, 6-0, 6-4.

A ranked matchup at first singles between No. 95 sophomore Radu Papoe and No. 93 Bobichon, who this past week made the rankings for the first time this year, was the next to finish. Papoe, who has only lost once on the season, played his match with ease, placing his shots and patiently waiting for openings as he dismantled Bobichon, taking the match 6-2, 6-2 and giving the Red a 2-1 lead overall. 

This was Cornell’s last win for the day, however. After winning a quick first set, Charles Bertimon, ranked No. 67 in singles, overcame senior Vlad Melnic, who was terrific on serve in the second, in a tiebreaker. His brother also made quick work of freshman Petar Teodorovic to regain the lead for the Rams. 

The match ended on court six, where Romain Gales took down junior Samuel Paquette in another straight set win for the Rams. The only match to go to a third set, between Sinha and Stable, wasn’t finished, and VCU took the contest, 4-2. 

The Red will look to bounce back against Western Michigan University (9-6, 5-0 MAAC) next Saturday, April 1, in its final non-conference match before Ivy League play. The match will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Reis Tennis Center.