Facing Princeton today, the men’s tennis team (5-8, 0-1 Ivy) will attempt to avenge last year’s loss to the Tigers and win their first match in over a month.
Last year, the Bulldogs received a 5-2 drubbing from the Tigers during their 0-7 Ivy League portion of the spring season. The Elis lost their first Ivy League game this spring : a 5-2 loss to Brown Saturday.
Entering the match against Princeton, which stands atop the Ivy League two weeks into the season, the Bulldogs must focus from the start.
“This year, Princeton is pretty strong; the doubles point will be pretty key,” Prateek Tandon ’03 said. “Whoever gets the doubles point usually has the momentum coming into the match.”
But Tandon said the Elis have the potential to beat Princeton today. The Tigers lost two of their top players to graduation, he said, and the Bulldogs have grown stronger as a team.
Injury troubles, which have plagued Yale since the beginning of the season, continue. Johnny Lu ’05, who had wrist troubles earlier this spring, watched last weekend’s game against the Bears from the sidelines. He will sit out today, too. Singles No. 4 Lu has a 9-11 singles record.
Tandon said although this year’s Eli team is young — three of six competitors in last week’s match were freshmen — he does not expect trouble from nerves or lack of experience.
“[Being young] makes us excited and ready to go, but we support each other a lot,” Tandon said. “Being a young team doesn’t matter; we’re all competitors.”
Facing an older Princeton team makes it very important for the Bulldogs to enter the match in the right mental state, Tandon said.
“We know that every break is not going to go our way,” Tandon said. “We have to know how to deal with adverse situations on the court.”
The Tigers are currently 2-0 in the league, beating Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania earlier this spring. Besides Brown, the only other conference team the Bulldogs faced is Penn in October. Yale won that match, 4-2.