M. TENNIS | “Spotty” performance at regionals

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Photo by James Lu.

All but one Eli was tripped up in the second singles round of the United States Tennis Association Regional Championship.

While Marc Powers ’13 finished runner-up in the singles competition, and he and Daniel Hoffman ‘13 made it to the semifinals in the doubles draw, another four Elis dropped out in the second round of the tournament held Oct. 13–18 in Ithaca, N.Y. Four players interviewed said the “spotty” results at one of the fall’s most important tournaments would not necessarily indicate how well the team would play this spring in Ivy League competition.

“[The weekend’s results were] good, but not as good as we need to win the Ivy League,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “But the team showed some great depth.”

Every member of the team advanced to the second round, whether playing in singles or doubles brackets.

Powers notched up five straight victories to make it to Tuesday’s final. He fell, however, to St. John’s player Vasko Mladenov 6–1, 4–6, 6–3 in the finals to end the tournament in second place.

“Marc is playing the best tennis of his career,” Dorato said.

Powers teamed up with Hoffman in a doubles pair that worked its way through the bracket to Tuesday’s semifinals, when Princeton duo Matt Siow and Matt Spindler ended their run, 9–7. The Princeton pair went on to win the doubles tournament.

Powers and Hoffman were the only Yale players who managed to pull beyond the second round.

“To be honest, it was a pretty spotty performance.” Joel Samaha ’12 said.

He and captain Erik Blumenkranz ‘12 fell out of the doubles bracket after they lost in the second round to Columbia.

Blumenkranz, Kyle Dawson ’14 and Zachary Krumholz ’15 were also eliminated from the tournament in their second-round singles matches.

Although most of the Bulldogs did not advance beyond the second round, Hoffman said that the first-round victories indicated that the team’s top six players all had potential to succeed. That depth, Powers said, will translate well into future competitions, particularly during the spring’s Ivy League play.

“Our depth has been an issue,” Powers said. “But our bottom end is playing very well — freshmen are playing well, seniors are playing well, everybody is really striking the ball solidly.”

The Bulldogs will be tested again this weekend at the Oct. 28–30 Connecticut State Championship.

Unlike at the USTA Regional Championships, which only took the team’s top six players, the entire team will take to the courts at the state competition this weekend. As a result, Powers said the tournament is a good opportunity for players who couldn’t play at the regional tournament to get in some match time.

The experience will help during the spring season, when players need to be “match tough” in case the top players become injured or the team changes its seeding order, Powers added.

“We hope to be the dominant team at the [state championship],” Dorato said, adding that the team’s results at both the USTA Regional Championships and the Connecticut State Championship would not necessarily indicate anything about the team’s chances of winning in the spring.

The Connecticut State Championship begins Friday at Yale’s Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.

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