The indoor season came early for the men’s tennis team this weekend.
No. 2 seed Andrew Rosenfeld’s ’04 win in the Flight A Singles bracket highlighted the men’s tennis Yale Invitational tournament, which began outside on Saturday but moved to the indoor Cullman Courts on Sunday because of rain. Competing against Columbia, Cornell and Dartmouth in the non-team scored contest, the Elis prepared for their more important upcoming tournament, the ECAC Championship Oct. 3 to 5.
Of the eight Elis competing at the Invitational, six survived the first round: Rosenfeld and No. 1 seed Ryan Murphy ’05 in Flight A singles, Brandon Wai ’07 and Milosz Gudzowski ’06 in Flight B singles, Matt Feldman ’06 in Flight C singles, and Chris Lawler ’07 in Flight D singles. Doubles teams Murphy/Rosenfeld and Lawler/Wai reached the semifinal round of Flight A doubles.
Rosenfeld’s victory was the sole first place finish for the Bulldogs.
“It was good, but I thought it could have been better,” coach Alex Dorato said. “We had our setbacks: Ryan Murphy sprained his ankle, so he lost a match he should have won; Brandon Wai lost to a good player, but I think he could have beaten him. It was good, but there was room for improvement.”
But the tournament went better than the Sept. 20 Cornell Invitational, Lawler said.
“It showed improvement from last weekend’s tournament,” Lawler said. “It showed that we’re headed in the right direction. We’ve got some work to do, but we should be able to come together.”
The high point of the tournament for the Bulldogs was Rosenfeld’s win. He struggled through a three-set match in the semifinal round, defeating Nic Brunner of Cornell, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5. His final match, against Columbia’s Akshay Rao, proved easier than his previous one: he won in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.
“[Rosenfeld's] win in the final was great because of the way he was really classy on the court,” Dorato said. “His opponent questioned Andrew’s call on a point because Andrew made a bad call, and Andrew just said, ‘Okay, you can have the point.’ He just gave the guy the point and didn’t argue. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal on another point, but this one was really important. [Rosenfeld] went ahead to win the next three games in a row. The way that he acted was very impressive and represented Yale the way I want our players to act on the court.”
Dorato was also impressed by Murphy, who sprained his ankle while tied 3-3 in the first set of his second match (also against Columbia’s Rao).
“Ryan [Murphy] sprained his ankle, but he taped it up and played as hard as he could,” Dorato said. “Most players will stop right there, but that’s the kind of kid he is: nothing’s going to stop him.”
The two doubles teams fared well, both advancing to the semifinals. The teams, which both played eight-game pro-sets in Flight A doubles, each lost in close matches (8-6). Lawler/Wai fell to No. 1 seed Neal Bobba/Drew Dinkmeyer of Dartmouth; Murphy/Rosenfeld fell to bracket winners Brunner/Josh Raff of Cornell.
“I like our doubles teams,” Dorato said. “Ryan [Murphy] and Andrew [Rosenfeld] are a good team. Unfortunately, they lost in the semifinals. Chris [Lawler] and Brian [Wai] play well together also.”
The Yale Invitational was good practice for the Bulldogs, who will compete in the ECAC Championship next weekend. The ECAC Championship is Yale’s first tournament this year that compiles a team score. Dorato felt that the competition was strong, and the Yale tournament gave him a good idea of next week’s team rankings.
“We have better talent this year than we have had the past two — so ECACs are really going to come down to competing and wanting to win,” Rosenfeld said.