The last time the men’s tennis team (13-5) traveled to Annapolis, Md., to play the Naval Academy they were shut out 7-0. Saturday, they were determined to avenge that defeat.
“Two years ago, we were handed an embarrassing loss,” captain Chris Shackelton ’02 said. “This time we were focused on beating them as bad as possible.”
The Bulldogs succeeded in doing just that, routing the Midshipmen 7-0 in just under three hours.
While Shackelton emphasized that everyone played well, it was No. 2 David Goldman ’04 who impressed the most by winning 6-0, 6-0 over Davy Lee.
The freshman pair of No. 1 Ryan Murphy and No. 5 Johnny Lu were also impressive as they both rang up straight set wins.
With usual No. 1 Steve Berke ’03 out of the match, Dustin West ’04 filled the hole in the lineup at No. 6 — and it was his match that proved to be toughest for the Elis.
West gave up the only Bulldog set of the match as he lost 6-2 to Philip Voulgaris in the first. But West fought back and took the second set, 7-5, and the tiebreaker, 11-9.
Yale won all three doubles matches as well.
Entering the match as the clear favorite, the Elis saw it as a good chance to prepare for the upcoming Ivy League season.
“It was our last match before the Ivy season, so it was important for us to play well,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “We also needed another opportunity to work on our doubles, which we struggled with so far this season.”
After their successful trip out West and the win over Navy, the Bulldogs have their eye on winning the Ivy title as league play is set to begin.
“It was nice for the team to get another victory and some confidence going into the Ivy season,” Murphy said. “Everyone seems to be playing well, which is really uplifting with the most important matches of the year coming up.”
The Bulldogs travel south to the University of Pennsylvania on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.
“Both teams are tough, and playing on the road in the Ivy League is never easy,” Shackelton said. “Our schedule this year is going to make winning the Ivy League difficult, but we’re up for the challenge.”