Freshman Ashan DeSilva
and junior Garrett Russikoff
both reached the quarterfinals in Flight A Singles to lead the Rams at the Iowa Conference Men's Tennis Individual Championships Friday and Saturday in Cedar Rapids.
The unseeded DeSilva made a run through the top half of his bracket with three wins. He scored a 6-3, 6-4 win in the first round, and then upended No. 8 seed Austin Papenthein of Central by a 7-6, 6-2 margin. DeSilva advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (3) win over Loras' Jonathan Moore. DeSilva was then eliminated in a 6-0, 6-1 setback to top-seeded Nick Garcia of Dubuque.
The seventh-seeded Russikoff finished 2-1 in singles play. He rallied for a 0-6, 7-5, 1-0 (8) win in the second round, followed up by a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Coe's Jeff Damisch. Russikoff dropped his quarterfinal match - 6-0, 6-1 - to No. 3 seed and eventual runner-up Ramesh Karki of Luther.
Justin Bradfield finished 1-1 in Flight A Singles, while Joe Reyes recorded one win in Flight B Singles.
Sophomores Joseph Gelfand and John Link turned in Cornell's best showing in doubles play, finishing 2-1 in Flight B. The Cornell tandem posted an 8-5 first-round win over Wartburg, and then edged Buena Vista 9-7 in the next round. Gelfand and Link fell 8-2 to the top-seeded Coe team in the third round.
Cornell opened its abbreviated fall schedule with a 7-2 dual win at home over St. Ambrose Sept. 19. Russikoff, DeSilva and Orion Wilkinson all won a pair of matches on the day. Bradfield and Gelfand prevailed in singles play.
The Rams earned doubles wins from Russikoff and Joseph Reyes (8-2 at No. 2), and Wilkinson and DeSilva (9-7 at No. 3).
Cornell starts its traditional spring season Feb. 3 at Elmhurst (Ill.).