MSU men’s tennis team suffers its first at home loss of the season against Cornell

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Erin Grady

EAST LANSING – The No. 16 ranked Michigan State men’s tennis team suffered its first home loss of the season in an intense matchup against No. 46 Cornell on Sunday.

Despite the loss, the Spartans have been dominating the season, as they went into the match with a 14-2 overall record. Before losing to No. 9 Arizona in the Blue Gray Classic final last weekend and falling down one spot in the rankings, the team’s spot at number 15 in the nation was the best ranking in program history.

MSU entered Sunday with a 3-2 all-time lead against Cornell. Unfortunately, the team could not hold onto their winning record over the Big Red and lost 4-3 in a hard-fought match.

“On the road last week we actually had way more energy and the guys really brought it. Today they were a little bit slow starting,” head coach Harry Jadun said.

Cornell took the first doubles win of the day, with Adit Sinha and Nathan Mao defeating MSU’s Taym Alazmeh and Aristotelis Thanos 6-4 on court one.

MSU sophomore Ozan Baris and graduate student Ronald Hohmann then took down their opponents 6-4. Baris and Hohmann are ranked No. 53 in the ITA rankings as doubles partners.

The doubles point came down to an intense back-and-forth match on court three, but Cornell’s Radu Papoe and Samuel Paquette would ultimately secure the point with a 6-4 win against junior Max Sheldon and senior Graydon Lair.

“In doubles, we got down in two courts, and then we wanted to fight and compete but it’s just too late against a team like that,” said Jadun. “They are just going to jump on you if you give them an inch.”

Cornell also took the first singles point of the day as Mao defeated Alazmeh on court five 6-3, 6-4 to put the Big Red up 2-0. However, within minutes MSU would earn its first point of the day with No. 124 Sheldon triumphing over his opponent 6-2 in both matches. Sheldon is now 9-1 in singles play on the season.

Erin Grady

Thanos would be the one to tie it up for the Spartans on court three as he took down Petar Teodorovic 6-2, 6-3. But Cornell quickly bounced back as Sinha came out on top against No. 20 Hohmann 6-2, 7-5.

The Big Red secured the victory on court one with a win from No. 19 Papoe over No. 12 Baris 7-5, 6-1 in a thrilling matchup.

“Whether we won or lost we were going to win something today, and unfortunately it happened with a loss, but we know what we got to work on,” said Jadun. “We got to be sharper, we got to make sure we have energy, and that’s just really what it takes to be a top team.”

The Spartans are now 14-3 overall and hope to get back into the win column on Friday, Mar. 22 when they host Nebraska in their first Big Ten matchup of the season.

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