Tennis Teams Play Host to Saturday Tripleheader
ITHACA, N.Y. – Reis Tennis Center will be buzzing Saturday with three non-league matches involving the Big Red men's and women's tennis teams. Cornell's women's team is set to clash with Fairleigh Dickinson at 3 p.m. in a match that will be bookended by Cornell men's matches against Illinois State at 11 a.m. and Temple at 7 p.m.
The Big Red women's team (6-2) is coming off victories in its last two matches — including a 3-0 victory over FDU in the seventh-place match of the ECAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 19. The match featured a modified scoring system with four singles matches and one doubles match. Junior Christine Ordway (No. 2) and sophomore Ryann Young (No. 3) won their matches in straight sets, and the doubles team of freshmen Sara Perelman and Rosemary Li dominated in an 8-2 victory. Young and the Li/Perelman tandem are each a perfect 8-0 on the season.
Since the meeting with the Knights, the Big Red defeated Binghamton, 6-1, on Sunday before its Wednesday match against Army was postponed due to inclement weather.
Fairleigh Dickinson (5-4 overall, 3-4 spring) has finished second in the Northeast Conference in each of the last two seasons. Three of the Knights' losses came at ECAC Indoors before the team rebounded for a 4-3 victory on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Army. No. 1 singles player Anna Rapoport was ranked eighth in the Northeast Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Jan. 3.
This will be the Big Red's last match until a road trip March 19-23 to the Carolinas.
On the men's side, Cornell (5-8) will look to rebound from a five-match losing streak against stiff competition including top-15 teams Auburn and Mississippi State. Sophomore Venkat Iyer has been holding down the No. 1 position with a 7-4 record, re-emerging in the ITA rankings on Tuesday at No. 93. Freshman Alex Sidney is 6-5 from the Nos. 4 and 5 positions, while the doubles team of freshmen Sam Fleck and Jason Luu is 7-2 on the campaign.
Illinois State (3-4) has the 47th-ranked doubles team in the nation in junior Alex Pelaez and sophomore Tuomas Manner. The duo also primarily handles the Nos. 1 and 2 positions in singles play, though senior Skip Span has a team-best 5-2 mark in singles bouncing between the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 spots. The Redbirds were Missouri Valley Conference semifinalists last season.
Temple (4-2) is led by Polish brothers Filip and Kacper Rams, who play in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, respectively. Senior Filip is a team-best 5-1 in dual matches with wins in his last three matches, while junior Kacper is 4-2. Senior Dmitry Vizhunov has made the most appearances at No. 3 with a 2-3 record. Filip Rams and freshman Kristian Marquart are 3-0 at No. 1 doubles. One of the Owls' victories this season was against defending Atlantic-10 champion George Washington.