MEN’S TENNIS | Bulldogs sweep at home

The No. 51 Elis took down Binghamton 5–2, and ended the weekend with a perfect 7–0 sweep of St. Bonaventure.
The No. 51 Elis took down Binghamton 5–2, and ended the weekend with a perfect 7–0 sweep of St. Bonaventure. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

The nationally ranked No. 51 Yale men’s tennis team extended its home winning streak to eight this weekend.

The Bulldogs (13–3, 0–0 Ivy) hosted two unranked teams at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in the final two home matches before the start of Ivy play. Prior to the two victories against Binghamton (6-8) and St. Bonaventure (4-9, 0-1 Atlantic 10), Yale had won all six of its home matches thus far. The first match on Saturday ended 5–2 in favor of the Bulldogs over the Binghamton Bearcats. Yale ended the weekend with a 7–0 sweep of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

“Overall, we definitely played really well,” Daniel Faierman ’15 said. “We did a great job of not taking these unranked teams lightly. However, I think there is certainly room for improvement. This is especially true in doubles, as we must win the doubles points in Ivies.”

After traveling to Wilmington, N.C., over Yale’s spring break to capture two wins and a loss against Illinois State (5-7, 0-0 MVC), No. 55 Old Dominion (11-5, 0-0 CAA) and No. 72 UNC Wilmington (9-4, 0-0 CAA), respectively, the Bulldogs returned home to defend their perfect record at home. The loss moved Yale back three ranking spots from No. 48 to No. 51 nationally.

With a perfect record in doubles at home, Yale clinched the doubles point early on against the Bearcats. The nationally ranked veteran duo of team captain Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Marc Powers ’13 defeated the pair of Bastian Bornkessel and Ismael Dinia at No. 1, 8–6. At No. 3, Zach Dean ’13 and Matt Saiontz ’15 followed suit with another 8–6 victory. Dean performed as well at No. 5 singles when he came back after dropping the first set 5–7 to gain his third three-set win of the season.

“This weekend was especially important for guys like Jason Brown ’16 and Kyle Dawson ’14, who have been injured,” Dean said. “Kyle won very easily after a close match the day before. Jason played a solid player and was able to keep it together mentally, which is always the toughest part when coming back after not playing for a while.”

Dean added that Brown and Dawson are key players for Yale and that their health is instrumental to the team’s success.

The eighth-straight victory at home occurred on Sunday when the Bulldogs took the Bonnies down 7–0 in a display of doubles and singles prowess. The win marked the team’s ninth victory out of the 10 last matches. Not a single set was lost in either singles or doubles. The doubles point was won at No. 3 with a game-winner by Dean and Saiontz, 8–3. The No. 1 pair of John Huang ’13 and Patrick Chase ’14 did not finish, ending 7–7.

All six Elis won in singles play in the second match of the weekend. Faierman came out of his match at No. 6 with a 6–0, 6–0 sweep of his opponent, Gabriel Cardenas. Dawson also had a straightforward win at No. 5, 6–0, 6–1 against Celso de vera Rehberger.

“The team has been on a roll at home so far this season,” Hoffman said. “If we can keep this momentum and hard work going into the Ivies, we’re expecting positive results.”

This coming Saturday, the Elis will take the road to challenge St. John’s Red Storm (2–0–11, 0–1 Big East) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., home of the U.S. Open.

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