M. TENNIS | Strong showing despite rain

The men’s tennis team finished a strong weekend of play at the eight-team Yale Invitational on Sunday.

Despite inclement weather and delayed matches, the team’s home tournament was successful overall. Four out of five of Yale’s doubles teams reached the finals, while Calvin Bennett ’11 and Erik Blumenkranz ’12 made it to the semifinals in singles. Matt Schimmel ’10 continued his undefeated streak by winning all three of his matches to make it to the finals in Flight ‘C.’

In the Flight ‘A’ singles tournament, team captain Connor Dawson ’10 and Bennett each won their first-round match in straight sets. Bennett had a solid performance through the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-1 win before losing to Cornell’s Jon Jaklitsch in the semifinals . Dawson fell in a close match to Cornell’s John Fife in the quarterfinals.

“I think my performance is not where it needs to be,” Dawson said. “But I’m getting better, and as a team I think we’re playing pretty well.”

Blumenkranz cruised through the quarterfinals in the Flight ‘B’ singles, winning a 6-4, 6-4 match before falling in the semifinals. Joel Samaha ’12 made it to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the first round of play.

Schimmel went 3-0 in his matches to bring his record to 6-0 for the season. Ryan Berman ’11 advanced to the semifinals in the Flight ‘C’ bracket with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Princeton’s Alex Faust.

Berman said the weekend went well for both him personally and the team as a whole.

“Everyone is playing good tennis at this point in the season,” Berman said. “ Hopefully we’ll keep it up.”

The team also excelled in its doubles matches. Four of the five Yale teams finished in the finals of their respective divisions, but the doubles teams were ultimately unable to complete the matches due to the weather. The Flight ‘A’ doubles team of Bennett and Samaha powered through the competition, winning their Sunday semifinal match 8-4. The duo of Dawson and Marc Powers ’13 followed suit, advancing to the Flight ‘B’ doubles final with an 8-5 win in the semifinals. In Flight ‘C,’ the team of Schimmel and Berman and the team of John Huang ’13 and Jordan Abergel ’11 also won their respective matches to finish in the final.

Coach Alex Dorato said he was pleased with the weekend’s results, especially the doubles performances.

“Our doubles have improved dramatically since the Princeton Invitational two weeks ago,” Dorato said. “We’ve been working hard, and it has paid off.”

With the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championships at Dartmouth in two weeks, the team is working to continue the improvement evidenced at this weekend’s tournament. Dawson said one of the main focuses during practice will be consistency of play.

“We have a lot of guys that do well in the first match and then poorly in the next and vice versa,” he said. “[But] overall I thought it was a good tournament.”

Dorato echoed that point and said the weekend provided the experience and confidence the team needs heading into the upcoming Regional Championships.

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