The Yale men’s and women’s tennis teams had a tough start to the regular season this weekend.
The men’s squad was unable to find its range in its opening contests to begin the season, dropping both its matches against Boston College and Purdue on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The women’s team, meanwhile, lost to No. 4 Notre Dame, but bounced back against No. 41 Utah the next day.
“It was a very slow start for us, but we have been training hard and will continue doing so to peek for the Ivy Season,” Marc Powers ’12 said. “We have a lot to work on, but we should get to where we need to be in time.”
On Saturday, the men’s team took on Boston College, losing 3–4. Powers was injured in his doubles match and was unable to compete in the No. 1 singles match.
“I strained my ‘lat,’” Powers said. “It hurt a lot for the match against BC. I took a few recovery shakes, Advil, and basically decided to play through it against Purdue the next day.”
John Huang ‘12 and Daniel Hoffman ’12 won their matches at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
Jordan Abergel ’11 defeated Klaus Puestow in three sets after dropping a tightly contested second set. A single break cost Abergel the second set.
Yale then returned to play on Sunday against Purdue, losing by a score of 3–4 again. One positive that came out of the day was the fact that Powers returned to action and appeared to be unhindered in his easy victory over Szymon Tatarczyk.
“[It was] disappointing to lose, but the first matches are always tough and it’s a long season,” Erik Blumenkranz ’12 said. “They are both good teams that have already had matches. These being our first, we were a little rusty.”
Huang won his match at the No. 2 position in three sets. Both sets he won were in tie breaks, which can be attributed to the smart serving and powerful play of both players.
At the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, Yale lost both matches in three sets. Yale was competitive through the contests and a few break points made the difference between victory and defeat for the Bulldogs.
This was the first weekend of play in the ITA Division I season for the women. There were 15 sites nationwide and the team that won both of their matches at each site would receive a guaranteed bid to the Feb. 18–21 ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
“The teams were very deep so we had challenging matches at each position in the team,” Vicky Brook ’12 said. “The way that the girls were able to say in long, aggressive points meant we really had to work hard to earn every point.”
However, that would not be the case for the Bulldogs. The women took on Notre Dame on Saturday, falling 0–7. The Bulldogs were unable to compete against a clearly dominant team.
At No. 1 singles, Brook lost in straight sets to No. 9 Kristy Frilling, 1–6, 2–6. Most of the Elis dropped in straight sets except Stevie Petrelli ’12, who pushed the match into a third set after winning a hotly contested second set, but was forced to retire.
Despite being outplayed by Notre Dame, Yale returned to action against Utah and were led by the strong play at the top of the ladder.
The Elis won the top four spots on the ladder to secure victory. Additionally, the Bulldogs captured the doubles points by winning the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches.
“We really challenged ourselves on the second day to remain positive whatever the circumstances and it really paid off as at least four of us were able to come back from tough spots in our matches,” Brook said.
Brook led the team at the No. 1 position and won a toughly contested three set battle against No. 82 Anastasia Putilina.
One of the most exciting matches of the day featured freshman Annie Sullivan who came back from dropping the opening set to love. She came storming back and finally took the match in a tightly contested third set tie breaker, 7–5.
“The freshmen are doing an absolutely awesome job,” Brook said. “They’ve totally adopted our values and we are proud to have them representing Yale with us.”
The men will return to action on Thursday against William and Mary while the women will not compete until Saturday against Vanderbilt.