The fall tennis season begins today, with the Red taking on a mixed field of Ivy foes and local contenders. The men will play host to the Cornell Fall Invitational at Reis Tennis Center today through Sunday.
The men’s team is returning to the court after a breakout season with now second-year head coach David Geatz, who led the Red to a second place finish in the Ivy League. The team dropped only two matches last year against the Ancient Eight, both of which went down 4-3. The Red graduated five seniors, and has brought on five freshmen to fill the empty spots. This season may be harder for the Red, after losing a few players who, according to junior Jeremy Feldman, were the “heart and soul of the team.”
In important matches against its Ancient Eight rivals this weekend, the Red tennis teams saw mixed results. The men’s team (12-5, 3-2 Ivy) remained perfect at home, beating Yale 6-1 on Friday and defeating Brown, 5-2, on Saturday. The women’s team, facing the same opponents on the road, dropped both matches, losing 7-0 in both outings.
As the weather gets nicer, the opponents get tougher and the games become more consequential for the Cornell men’s and women’s tennis teams. After suffering losses to Harvard in their last outing, both the men’s and women’s teams look to return to their winning ways this weekend, in games against Ivy League foes, Yale and Brown.
The men’s team (10-5, 1-2 Ivy) was edged out by Harvard, 4-3, on Saturday. The loss reflected the team’s recent underwhelming play, having also lost to Columbia before its match against the Crimson. The Red, which previously held a six-game win streak over Spring Break, currently possesses a losing record, 1-2, against Ancient Eight rivals.
After an extremely successful trip to the west coast, men’s tennis begins its Ivy campaign in New York City against Columbia on Saturday. The Red (9-3) is on a seven game winning streak.
In their matchup last year, the Red lost in an extremely tight match, 4-3. However, the team has many more wins this year than it did going into its Ivy season, and their success on the road in Calif. during spring break will to be a big confidence booster against the Ancient Eight.
The women’s team has had the opposite result in both their California sojourn and their preaseason. The women (4-9) are struggling. The team took two straight losses in California after defeating Azusa Pacific University. The Red will host Columbia at home at Reis Tennis center.
The men’s tennis team will be back in action for the first time since November when it takes on Penn State to open its dual season this Sunday morning in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions are coming off back-to-back losses to Oklahoma State and Duke this past weekend, and will matchup against Virginia Tech on Saturday before hosting Cornell. The Red has been solid thus far this season, with freshman Evan Bernstein notching singles wins, and sophomores Jeremy Feldman and Andy Gauthier proving an effective doubles combination. On the women’s side, the Red will host Siena College on Saturday at 11 a.m., and then return to the courts four hours later to take on Fairleigh Dickinson University at the Reis Tennis Center.
The men’s tennis team did not complete the sweep of every event at the Cornell Fall Indoor Invitational last weekend, but it came close. In Cornell’s last tournament of the fall season, the Red had players in the finals of every non-consolation bracket and came out on top in two of the four events.
In singles action, senior Jeremy Feldman advanced to the finals of Flight A and sophomore Evan Bernstein reached the Flight B finals. Cornell settled for a split of the singles titles as Feldman came up just short against Moshe Levy of Binghamton (7-6 (3), 6-3). Bernstein, however, was able to come back from losing a first set tiebreaker to claim the Flight B singles title over Landon Greene of Marist (6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4).
The all-around solid play of the men’s tennis team this fall culminates in the Cornell Fall Indoor Invitational next week. The Red had a mixed bag of results over the weekend at the ITA Northeast Regionals, where the edge of some disappointing losses was taken off by the success of sophomore Andy Gauthier in reaching the finals of the singles consolation bracket.
“We need someone to step up, kick some tail,” said head coach David Geatz. “We have three or four guys that are just a hair away from being a No. 1 guy in the Ivy League. It will be interesting to see if someone can step up.”
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 met expectations this weekend at the ECAC Men’s Tennis Invitational. It just didn’t exceed them. Ninth-seeded Cornell came in exactly the place it was supposed to: ninth. The Red fell to Dartmouth on Friday, but prevailed against St. Joseph’s on Saturday and Boston College on Sunday.
“It would have been nice to do a little better,” said coach Barry Schoonmaker. “But at least we didn’t go down.”
The team went into the weekend feeling good about its chances, but was disappointed after falling eight-seeded Dartmouth on the first day of play, 5-2.