M. TENNIS | Elis best military forces

The men’s tennis team had a good weekend, adding two more wins to its record.

The Bulldogs moved to 5-2 on the season after defeating Navy 4-3 on Saturday and Army 6-1 on Sunday. Coming off of their disappointing performance in the ECAC Championships Feb. 13 to 15, the Elis were focused on improving their record this weekend.

“On Saturday we were just trying to get our focus back,” Joel Samaha ’12 said. “It is a more of a ‘regrouping’ match.”

The Elis won all their doubles matches Saturday and Sunday, which especially helped them in the tight match against Navy.

“On Saturday against Navy we came out with solid doubles from the start,” captain Jeff Dawson ’09 said. “Our singles were fair; we struggled a little bit but pulled it out in the end.”

Head coach Alex Dorato added, “Doubles was excellent and we were a little shaky on singles on Saturday. Everybody was a little off.”

For singles, playing at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, Michael Caldwell ’09 and Connor Dawson ’10 defeated their opponents in two sets. Tom Santoro ’09 played a tough match at No. 6 but fell in the end to Owen Bullard. After five singles matches, the overall score was tied 3-3.

The match was decided by the captain at No. 1, who battled to a 6-4, 1-6 and 6-4 victory over Nate Nelms.

“Saturday I played a good first set and then the second didn’t go so well,” Jeff Dawson said. “Then in the third, I knew the game would come down to me. Luckily, we pulled it off.”

The Elis’ narrow victory Saturday meant they had to regroup and refocus for their match Sunday against the Black Knights.

“We wanted to make some changes and have more energy against Army,” Jeff Dawson explained. “We knew what we wanted to do and we took care of business.”

The Bulldogs won all but one of their singles matches. At No. 3, Connor Dawson fell to junior Chris Albornoz, 6-1, 6-2.

“Our only loss was by default on singles,” Jeff Dawson explained. “We were really focused from the first to last point. It definitely made a difference.”

The rest of the singles matches were decided in two sets.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, the Elis have a match against Furman on March 6. The competition will also be the first outdoor one of the season, something to which the Bulldogs are looking forward. After playing the Paladins, the Elis have time to rest up before plunging into the rest of their season.

“We get to rest, but we’ll continue to have great practices and put in the work hard,” Jeff Dawson said. “We’re going to need to have high energy and be well-rested if we’re going to hit our grooves.”

Further down the road, the Elis have their eyes set on the Ivy League title. Harvard and Columbia pose the biggest challenge for Yale.

“The Ivy title is still pretty far off,” Samaha said. “And of course we all have that in the back of our minds, but right now we’re just trying to concentrate on getting everybody healthy and staying focused.”

The Bulldogs step back on the court March 6 to battle Furman at home.

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