MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Cornell's men's tennis team trounced two opponents at home Saturday and then fell short in a competitive 6-3 meet with perennial power St. Thomas Sunday at University of Minnesota's Baseline Tennis Center.
The Rams (3-2 overall) began a busy weekend with 9-0 sweeps over Milwaukee School of Engineering and Buena Vista. They were only a few points shy of reversing Sunday's outcome with the Tommies, an 11-4 dual squad a year ago.
Four of the six singles matches with St. Thomas (2-0) came down to a third-set tiebreaker, while all three doubles bouts were also tightly contested.
Cornell received singles wins from first-year players Shoma Kishimoto (FR/Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) (6-4, 6-2 over Marty Beck at No. 4) and Nick Van Den Handel (SO/Highland Village, Texas) (6-2, 2-6, 10-6 over Sterling Sibley at No. 6). Cornell's No. 2 doubles tandem of Tucker Barnes (JR/Flower Mound, Texas) and Aditya Goyal (FR/Cupertino, Calif.) notched an 8-5 victory.
Cornell No. 1 player Gabriel Souza (SO/Teresopolis, Brazil) lost a 6-2, 3-6, 10-1 decision to regionally-ranked Luke Elifson. Hayden Dzurisin (FR/Crystal Lake, Ill.) (6-4, 1-6, 10-5) and Barnes (5-7, 6-2, 10-8) also went the distance in their singles matches before falling in three sets.
St. Thomas' returning all-American doubles team of Elifson and Beck – ranked No. 2 in the Central Region – fought past Souza and Kishimoto, 8-5, at the No. 1 position. Cornell's Dzurisin and Van Den Handel lost an 8-6 battle at No. 3 doubles.
The Rams had no trouble in Saturday's double dual, taking all 18 contested matches. The team had 10 different players record a singles victory, with Barnes and Tom Greene (SO/Freeport, Ill.) both winning twice.
Cornell's doubles teams of Souza-Kishimoto and Barnes-Goyal both finished 2-0. Dzurisin partnered with Van Den Handel and Hiro Harado in his two doubles wins at the No. 3 slot.
Coming up – The Rams are home Saturday, Feb. 18, for duals against Millikin at 9 a.m. and Wartburg at 5 p.m.