The men’s and women’s squash teams will host a formidable Ivy opponent this weekend, one that is similar to the Red in several ways — Harvard.
[img_assist|nid=34002|title=Squash the competition|desc=This Saturday the men’s squash team will hope to repeat its success from last year in toppling Harvard for the first time in program history.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Kicking off a strong season in which the men’s team defeated this Ancient Eight rival for the first time in school history, the Red will look to accomplish that same feat again when it faces the Crimson on Saturday at home.
Cornell (2-1) couldn’t have started off this fall on a higher note: blanking Franklin and Marshall 9-0 on Nov. 21 before shutting down then-ranked No. 7 Penn the next day 8-1.
With several key underclassmen to bolster the men’s and women’s squash teams, both squads are looking to vault into the nation’s top level of competition this year after solid performances last season.
The men’s squash team opened up its fall season on a high note, winning four of its first five matches — including three Ivy victories — exciting the squad about its chances for the season. Next week marks the Red’s first home match, where it will face Harvard, whom Cornell narrowly beat 5-4 on Nov. 8 — a win that marked the first time in team history that Cornell had defeated Harvard.
Call it strength through unity: a powerful team mentality that allowed the women’s tennis team to upend its opponents this past weekend. Or just call it good timing. Either way, the women’s tennis team wrapped up its fall season this past weekend at Purdue University in Indiana, notching up several wins over tough opponents. Cornell was the only team from the Northeast in attendance at the Purdue Invitational, and this was the first — and last — time that the whole team traveled to the same invitational this season. In the past, tournaments had only featured a handful of Cornell players.
While the men’s tennis team finished its draws last weekend at Yale, the women’s tennis team was still playing this past weekend at the ITA Regionals. However, four days into the women’s tournament, only two girls remained alive at the contest in Philadelphia — the doubles pair of freshman Stephanie Kent and junior Natalia Sanchez. Sanchez also made it up to the third round of her singles bracket, losing to the No. 8 seed, Janet Kim, from Yale.
“I was very happy, we did a really good job,” Sanchez said. “The girl from Yale was a very good player. … She won a couple tournaments this year.”
In the second round, Sanchez beat a home-court opponent, Lauren Sadaka of Penn.
Picture this: down 24-19, the football team’s quarterback Nathan Ford lofts the ball in a near-perfect arc. The final seconds of the game clock are ticking away. Senior wideout Jesse Baker, in the corner of the end zone, reaches over the cornerback’s shoulder to snag the ball (You could almost see him saying “thank you very much” upon pick-pocketing his defender). Silence replaced the buzz of 13,000 rowdy Lehigh students and alumni. Suddenly, there was a flash of Red as the Cornell players took off and swarmed Baker. Game over.
The men’s tennis team wrapped up play at the Columbia Invitational this past weekend, claiming one single and two doubles titles overall. The tournament, which marked the second time the Red have played in New York City this season, was marked by the consistently strong doubles play that has made this team successful in its fall matches thus far. The team of seniors Kyle Doppelt and Josh Goldstein captured the Flight A championship after wins over Columbia and Binghamton. Sophomore Jon Jaklitsch and junior Jon Fife won the Flight B final with wins over St. John’s and Binghamton. In singles play, senior Marc Asch claimed the Flight C title in a three-set thriller (6-4, 5-7, 6-1) over a Penn player.
The men’s tennis team received a strong dose of Ivy exposure this weekend at Princeton’s Farnsworth Invitational — perhaps too much at times, though the Red was able to find some success against tough opponents at the Princeton Invitational. On the women’s side, freshman Stephanie Kent won her singles finals match, and then teamed up with junior Natalia Sanchez to take home the doubles title in the Red bracket of the Cissie Leary Invitational.
In a tournament where Cornell was matched up against highly capable foes including Boston College, Ole Miss, and Louisville — not to mention a host of Ivy League rivals — the Red managed to find success in Flushing Meadows this past weekend at the Men’s College Tennis Invitational.
The final of the Doubles III bracket featured a matchup between two Cornell teams. Junior Jon Fife and sophomore Jonathan Jaklitsch defeated sophomores Andy Gauthier and Jeremy Feldman for the title.
Coming off the heels of a very successful showing at the Cornell Fall Outdoor Invitational in which the Red played both host and favorite, the men’s tennis team will now prepare to journey downstate to participate in the Men’s College Tennis Invitational today in Flushing, Queens.
At home last weekend the squad fared well, reaching the finals in five of the six brackets and taking the title in four of those. This weekend though, the action should become significantly more competitive, as the invitational features Ivy League teams in addition to more unfamiliar foes such as Binghamton, St. John’s and Alabama. [img_assist|nid=31927|title=Body in motion|desc=Junior Jonathan Fife swings during a home match against Army on March 31, 2008.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
For better or worse, we’re back in upstate New York. That fact only really hit me earlier today when I walked out of the gym at Teagle to be greeted by the snowbank sitting outside Lynah Rink, a chillingly bizarre indicator that winter is closer than we’d all like to believe. Also, is it really time to get line numbers for hockey tickets already? Autumn has arrived with the speed of a Usain Bolt race, and in the spirit of prematurity, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull a DeSean Jackson for this first column. Here’s a sampling of some of the great moments that will occur in the sports world, both on the Hill and beyond, this fall semester:
1. Ford becomes the most accurate quarterback in school history.