Tennis gears up for weekend clash

AlexandraSchmeling_tennis-70
Photo by Alexandra Schmeling.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are riding winning streaks into what promises to be an exciting weekend of competition for the two squads. The men will host home contests against St. John’s, Bryant and Fordham, while the women head down to Williamsburg, Va. to take on Rice and the College of William & Mary.

Yale’s men’s tennis team currently boasts a three-game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine contests to compile a 9–3 record. Against the men’s first opponent this weekend, St. John’s, the Elis will be hoping for a repeat performance of last year’s showdown with the Red Storm, which ended in a 5–2 Bulldog victory.

“Coming off a very successful spring break trip … the team is definitely on a roll,” Kyle Dawson ’14 said. “Saturday against St. Johns will no doubt be a tough task, but if we play and compete well, there is no reason why we should not add to the win column.”

As the Elis have not competed against either Fordham or Bryant in recent years, these matchups will present the team with some unfamiliar competition. Given Fordham’s 1–3 record on the road this season, the Bulldogs, as owners of a 6–1 home record, are the prohibitive favorite on paper against the Rams this weekend. Bryant currently holds a 10–9 overall record, but those Bulldogs are just 2–5 away from home, giving Yale at least a territorial advantage in light of its near-perfect home record. Either way, this weekend’s matches will be the team’s final competition before the Ivy season gets under way, and members of the squad said that they will be looking to make an impact.

“Having a successful weekend would definitely help boost our confidence going into the most important part of our season,” Daniel Faierman ’15 said.

The women also have an impressive record against tough competition, as they sit above 0.500 with a 7–6 record. The Elis are in good form as of late, having put together a two-game winning streak. The team will be looking to upset a favored No. 30 Rice squad this weekend in Williamsburg as Yale, currently ranked at No. 52 nationally, will look to prove itself capable of taking down a Top-30 squad. By contrast, the Bulldogs are favored against a William & Mary team that sits outside of the Top 75 and owns a 3–11 record. Yale has a history with the tribe, as the Elis recorded their first NCAA tournament win against William & Mary in 2011, and will be looking to repeat its past success.

“I’m just really excited for the opportunity for the team to play two more strong teams before the Ivy season starts up,” said Amber Li ’15. “It’ll be a good warm up for us there, and I feel like a good way to wrap up our pre-conference season.”

Yale women’s tennis is coming off of a 7–0 victory against St. John’s, while the men’s squad defeated No. 51 Central Florida 4–3 in its last match.

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