M. TENNIS | Elis win 3 of 5 over break

Erik Blumenkranz ’12 swept Boston College’s Brian Locklear in No. 6 singles (6–1, 6–0) in Yale’s 5–2 win over the Eagles but fell alongside Joel Samaha ’12 (8–5) in No. 1 doubles.
Erik Blumenkranz ’12 swept Boston College’s Brian Locklear in No. 6 singles (6–1, 6–0) in Yale’s 5–2 win over the Eagles but fell alongside Joel Samaha ’12 (8–5) in No. 1 doubles. Photo by Chelsea Janes.

The Yale men’s tennis team improved to 10–5 on the season, going 3–2 in five matches over spring break, including two wins in Charleston, S.C., against Wofford and Winthrop. The Elis dropped their two other matches on the trip, falling to Furman and the University of South Carolina Upstate before returning home to defeat Boston College Sunday.

“We thought our break was so-so results-wise,” John Huang ’13 said. “But we played Ivy-level teams and everyone is starting to play better day-by-day. We just need to work hard these next few weeks so that come Ivies we’re all playing our best.”

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The early results from the break’s matches were anything but so-so. The Elis started their southern swing with a dominating 6–1 victory over Wofford, despite a delayed start due to rain. The Bulldogs swept the doubles matches, while Huang, Marc Powers ’13, Calvin Bennett ’11, Connor Dawson ’10 and Joel Samaha ’12 all earned wins in their singles matches.

Yale increased its win streak to seven the next day with a 4–3 win over Winthrop. Dawson and Daniel Hoffman ’13 teamed for the Elis’ only win in doubles, but thanks to straight-set wins from Powers and Huang in singles, the Bulldogs were able to rally. Hoffman and Dawson also took their singles matches — each in three sets — to clinch the win.

Seven was as high as the streak would go, however, as Furman (4–3) and the University of South Carolina Upstate (6–1) proved too much for the Elis. Only Powers and Dawson won in singles — and did so in straight sets — while Samaha and Blumenkranz, Powers and Bennett, and Dawson and Huang teamed to sweep the doubles and earn Yale’s third point.

Samaha earned the Elis only singles victory against USC Upstate, taking the No. 6 match for Yale. Powers suffered a tough 4–6, 6–3, 6–7 loss in No. 1 singles, while Huang lost a similarly heartbreaking 6–3, 5–7, 5–7 match in No. 2 singles. All three doubles teams lost by the score of 8–6 in the trip’s final match.

“[Because of the weather] we had to play four matches on consecutive days, which was tiring, but good,” Hoffman said. “[The match against USC Upstate] was really intense and will help us prepare for Ivy League season.”

Following that tough defeat, the Elis traveled home to New Haven for a Sunday afternoon date with Boston College. The duos of Bennett and Powers, and Huang and Hoffman took wins to earn the doubles point for the Elis, while Blumenkranz won handily, 6–1, 6–0 in No. 6 singles. Samaha and Hoffman also won in straight sets, while Bennett fought for a three-set victory in the Bulldogs’ 5–2 win.

“Our last few matches have been great preparation for the Ivy League season,” Blumenkranz said. “We got the chance to play outdoors against some good teams. Even though we didn’t win all of them, they were good experiences for us.”

The Bulldogs look to improve some more this weekend when they take on St. John’s and Binghamton in their final matches before the beginning of Ivy League play April 2.

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