M. TENNIS | Bulldogs finish last in Ivies

The men’s tennis team lost 6–1 to Brown on Saturday. The Bulldogs are now tied with Penn for last place in the Ivy League.
The men’s tennis team lost 6–1 to Brown on Saturday. The Bulldogs are now tied with Penn for last place in the Ivy League. Photo by Max de la Bruyere.

The men’s tennis team (9–13, 1–6 Ivy) ended an up and down spring season with a 6–1 loss to the Brown Bears on Saturday. The Bulldogs have now lost six straight Ivy contests — their sole victory came against Penn, which is tied with Yale for last place in the Ancient Eight.

“I think some of these losses have to do with frustration,” Marc Powers ’13 said. “When you lose that many close ones, your confidence really begins to wear down.”

The Elis started off the spring losing four of its first six matches but managed to improve their record to 8–7 before entering the Ivy season. The team struggled in close situations, losing eight matches by a single point.

Since Harvard defeated Princeton on Saturday, Yale has been assured of a spot in the Ivy League Tournament, which begins on May 5 .
Since Harvard defeated Princeton on Saturday, Yale has been assured of a spot in the Ivy League Tournament, which begins on May 5 .

But Saturday’s match against Brown was not even close. The Bulldogs fell behind early as the Bears swept doubles play. Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Powers’ loss at the No. 1 spot is only their second of the Ivy season. The duo finished the spring season with a 10–5 record. Erik Blumenkranz ’12 and Joel Samaha ’12 lost 8–5 at the No. 2 spot.

“It’s been a tough year,” Blumenkranz said. “We had a lot of injuries on the team this year.”

Captain Calvin Bennett ’11 and his partner John Huang ’13 lost a close 8–6 match at the No. 3 position. Bennett is still recovering from wrist surgery he underwent in the fall and was unable to compete in singles. The senior still managed to compile an 11–8 doubles record this spring.

“Even for [Bennett] to play doubles it hurts, he really needs another six months [to recover] but doesn’t really have a choice,” head coach Alex Dorato said.

In singles play, Powers scored the Bulldogs’ only point at the No. 1 spot, beating Sam Fife in straight sets 6–3, 7–6.

“We are very disappointed [with the season],” Jordan Abergel ’11 said. “We definitely had the ability to do well but we just didn’t execute.”

Huang almost pushed his match into the third set, but fell to Mike Hill 6–4, 7–6. The closest match of the day came at the No. 3 spot between Hoffmann and Brown’s Brandon Burke. After winning the first set, Hoffman dropped two straight sets to Burke, which ended his seven game winning streak. Hoffman lost only four matches in the spring and went 6–1 in the Ivy League.

At the No. 4 position, Blumenkranz lost 6–4 in both sets. Abergel and Samaha lost their matches at the No. 5 and 6 spots, respectively, in straight sets.

“We are already looking forward to next year and will use this [season] as motivation,” Blumenkranz said.

Before the match, the team honored its three seniors, Bennett, Abergel and Ryan Berman ’11, in their last home competition of their collegiate careers. The seniors compiled a 48–41 record over the past four years and placed second in the Ivy League twice.

“It’s been an honor to play for such a great institution,” Abergel said. “I really loved being part of the Yale tennis team.”

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