Looking to close out the fall schedule on a high note, the men’s tennis team turned in a sterling performance at the Connecticut State Championships to take home both the singles and doubles titles.
Tyler Lu ’17 defeated teammate Zachary Krumholz ’15 in the singles final, 6–4, 6–4, and Lu and Photos Photiades ’17 teamed up to beat Fairfield College’s Cameron Amyot and Ian Tesmond in the doubles final, 8–5. The joint victories ensured that, for the third consecutive year, both the singles and doubles titles in the Nutmeg State belonged to the Bulldogs.
Lu’s double victory closed a surprisingly successful season for the freshman class. Lu’s two titles at the Connecticut State Championships are his second and third titles this fall, with the other coming in singles at the Ivy Plus Invitational. Fellow freshman Alex Hagermoser ’17 closed the fall with an impressive 14–5 record.
“I’ve been very pleased with the way all the players have taken responsibility for stepping up to fill the shoes of the graduated seniors,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “Their work ethic has been unparalleled, and the improvement in the matches reflects that.”
Match play commenced Friday, Oct. 25 with Yale welcoming teams from Quinnipiac, Fairfield, Hartford, Sacred Heart and the University of Connecticut to the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. The Elis wasted no time in making their mark, cruising to 13 wins in just 14 matches. Notably, James Ratchford ’17 recorded the first singles win of his collegiate career, downing Ryan Wennberg of Sacred Heart, 6–4, 6–3. Jason Brown ’16 began his title defense at the Connecticut State Championships with a closely contested, 6–5, 3–6, 1–0 victory over Chris Toner of the University of Connecticut. Only Tommy Ratchford ’14 lost in the singles bracket, falling to Fairfield’s Ofir Solomon, 6–2, 6–2.
The Bulldogs continued to dominate on Saturday, as six Yale tennis players advanced to the singles quarterfinals. Lu, Brown, Svenning, Krumholz, Hagermoser and Patrick Chase ’14 all defeated their respective third-round opponents. Krumholz withstood the toughest test, coming back from one set down to beat Quinnipiac’s Eric Ambrosio 3–6, 6–4, 1–0. The impressive third-round performance by the Elis meant that two of the four quarterfinal matchups were all-Yale affairs. In the first of these intra-squad matches, Lu took down defending champion Brown 4–6, 6–2, 1–0, while in the other all-Yale clash Chase overcame Svenning 6–3, 6–3. Krumholz and Hagermoser also won their quarterfinal matchups to set the stage for an all-Yale semifinal in the singles bracket.
The Bulldogs’ singles success translated well to doubles competition, with the Elis going five-for-five on the opening day. On Saturday, with Yale doubles teams in each of the four quarterfinal matchups, the freshman pairing of Lu and Photiades as well as the team of Martin Svenning ’16 and Krumholz advanced to the semifinals. Lu and Photiades knocked off teammates Brown and Ratchford 8–6, while Krumholz and Svenning advanced by besting Jacob Spreyer and Chris Toner of the University of Connecticut, 8–4.
With Yale well represented in both the singles and doubles semifinals, the Bulldogs looked to claim finals berths in both the singles and doubles draws. While Lu and Photiades did their part by beating Ryan Carr and Wayne Harrell of the University of Connecticut 8–5, Svenning and Krumholz came up just short in their bout with Fairfield’s Cameron Amyot and Ian Tesmond, losing 8–7.
But Krumholz would not be denied twice, as he turned in a solid performance in his singles semifinal to beat Chase 6–4, 6–4 and advance to the final. In the second singles semifinal, freshmen Hagermoser and Lu staged the most riveting match of the tournament, with Lu squeaking by his teammate, 5–6, 6–5, 1–0.
With Lu beating Krumholz in the singles final and Lu and Photiades taking home the doubles crown, the men’s tennis team ends the fall season on the highest note possible. Both Dorato and Krumholz said that they were satisfied with the team’s performance throughout the fall, particularly the sweep at the Connecticut State Championships.
“I’m happy with the way our team competed this weekend,” Krumholz said in a text message to the News. “It was a nice ending of the season. We will all try to get in the best shape possible during the offseason so that we will be ready for the spring.”
Team Captain Kyle Dawson ’14 echoed his teammate’s sentiments.
“I think this was a great way to end the fall and believe it will springboard us into a successful spring,” he said. “I have been extremely happy with how hard the team has worked and believe that we are on the right path to success.”
The next time the Bulldogs take the court will be Jan. 18, 2014 in Blacksburg, Va., where they will take on Davidson and Virginia Tech in a doubleheader.