RICHMOND, Va. – Up until Friday afternoon, the Virginia Commonwealth University men's tennis team hadn't dropped a single set in their first six matches of the 2011 spring campaign.
However, Head Coach Paul Kostin knew that things would change with a challenging schedule on the horizon. The first part of that schedule was against a talented Cornell squad that ranked in the top-60 in the latest ITA rankings.
VCU would battle the Big Red, but eventually faltered down the stretch and dropped a 4-3 decision to Cornell at the Thalhimer Tennis Center on Friday afternoon.
"I'm not sure if our confidence got to high or what after the first couple matches, but the bottom line is that we're not good enough to just walk into matches and think we'll beat everybody," Kostin said. "We have a lot of work to do to get better, hopefully we'll see some of that on Sunday."
Cornell started off the match by taking doubles point with 8-6 victories at the top two spots. Mirza Klis quickly made it 2-0 in favor of the Big Red with a 6-3, 6-3 win at the third singles spot.
Senior Tim Johannsen got the Rams on the board with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Andy Gauthier at #1 singles, but Cornell responded with a 6-4, 7-5 win at #2 singles and found themselves just one point away from victory.
Freshman Antonie Baroz and sophomore Camill Salomon both claimed victories at #4 and #6 singles, respectively, but ultimately Cornell's Evan Bernstein was able to secure the win for the Big Red with a 7-5, 6-4 win at #5 singles.
The Rams return to action on Sunday afternoon when they host the Eagles of Winthrop University at 10 a.m.
Cornell 4, VCU 3
#1 Jaklitsch/E. Bernstein (CU) beat Salomon/Vazquez 8-6
#2 Gauthier/Felman (CU) beat Johannsen/Baroz 8-6
#3 Wennakoski/Svensson beat Klis/McElwain 8-6
#1 Johannsen beat Gauthier (CU) 6-3, 6-3
#2 Jaklitsch (CU) beat Wennakoski 6-4, 7-5
#3 Klis (CU) beat Vazquez 6-3, 6-3
#4 Baroz beat Feldman (CU) 6-4, 7-6(4)
#5 E. Bernstein (CU) beat Svensson 7-5, 6-4
#6 Salomon beat Chen (CU) 6-3, 6-4
order of finish....#3, #1, #2, #4, #5, #6