M. TENNIS | Bulldogs fall to three rivals

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Photo by Blair Seideman.

The unranked Yale men’s tennis team suffered three straight losses to other Ivy League schools during the ECAC Indoor Championships in Hanover, N.H.

The Bulldogs, seeded No. 8 for the tournament, went into the weekend with a 4–0 record and came out 4–3. The Elis fell to nationally ranked No. 60 Harvard and No. 70 Princeton 4–1 in the first and second rounds. The tournament ended with a 3–2 loss to Columbia on the last day.

“I thought we had been playing well and were in a good position to be successful this weekend,” Daniel Hoffman ’13 said. “We have been working really hard, so it was disappointing that we couldn’t come away with a better result.”

He added that even though the team had received a lower seed, he felt going in that the Bulldogs had an opportunity to do well.

The tournament started out late for Yale on Friday because the matches before Yale’s ran late. The team was scheduled to play in the last four matches of the day, which pushed back two hours past their 6 p.m. start time.

Yale’s matches also ran longer than usual, as No. 1 pair, Hoffman and Marc Powers ’13, won 8–6, and No. 3 pair of John Huang ’13 and Patrick Chase ’14 lost 8–6. Harvard won the doubles point at No. 2 when the Crimson defeated Yale’s Erik Blumenkranz ’12 and Joel Samaha ’12 in a tight 9–8 match. Harvard went on to win all three singles matches.

“We had a great comeback at No. 2 doubles,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “We were very close to beating Harvard, who was the top team in the tournament.”

Powers strained his achilles tendon during the match against Harvard, and dropped out of the singles lineup the rest of the weekend. Dorato said that even though Powers was able to play doubles, he played at about half his potential.

The Elis got up early Saturday morning to play the No. 4 seed Princeton, but fell 4–1. The Tigers swept their doubles matches and won three out of four singles matches. Hoffman earned the points for Yale in singles against Harvard and Princeton when he won his No. 3 match against Harvard’s Alex Steinroder and his No. 2 match against Princeton’s Augie Bloom. Hoffman lost against Columbia’s Nathaniel Gery, but Yale was able to win two of its matches against the Lions, seeded seventh, to close the tournament with a close 3–2 loss.

“I think the team played pretty well actually,” Blumenkranz said. “We now know that we have a good shot at beating those teams come Ivy season. We still feel fine despite the losses.”

Blumenkranz and Kyle Dawson ’14 won their singles matches in straight sets at No. 3 and No. 4. The Elis were unable to win a majority of matches in doubles all weekend.

Dawson said the sole goal for this year is to win the Ivy League title, adding that the team hopes to accomplish this by working on overall fitness.

The Bulldogs will take a break this weekend but will host the Yale Round Robin tournament at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center on March 3.

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