The men’s tennis team continued its winning streak last weekend, trouncing Colgate 7-0 and rolling over Boston College 5-2.
“We are playing well right now. We are money,” singles player David Goldman ’04 said.
The Elis’ (6-1) got off to a slow start in their first match against the Red Raiders early Saturday morning. Even though they handily won the doubles point, three of the first four singles matches on court struggled in tight opening sets.
Playing at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, respectively, captain Greg Royce ’01 and Chris Shackelton ’02 both dropped their first sets as Ryan Coyle ’02 battled through an opening tiebreaker at the No. 4 position.
But all three Bulldogs prevailed in the end. Shackelton even came back from his first set deficit to sweep his opponent Andrew Davis 6-0, 6-0 in the remaining sets.
The three other Elis who took on Colgate — Goldman, Prateek Tandon ’03 and Ben Woodhouse ’03 — all easily won their matches at the No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 positions, respectively. The trio dropped a total of only seven games.
The Bulldogs took a short lunch break after sweeping Colgate only to return to the courts to battle the Eagles from Boston College.
After securing the doubles point once again, Royce struggled through another three-set match in his 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Justin Slattery, while Shackelton continued delivering his opponents bagels, beating Chris Mercurio 6-0, 6-0.
Scott Carlton ’01 and Andrew Rosenfeld ’04 also soundly defeated their Eagle contenders at the No. 2 and No. 4 singles positions.
Yale’s only two losses of the day fell upon freshmen Dan Arellano and Neil Tolaney, who were both defeated in tight three-set matches.
Goldman, who sports a sweatband while playing, credits the Bulldog’s success to their alarming strength and appearance.
“I think we are dominating our opponents because we intimidate them,” he said. “I receive comments during matches about my ghetto headgear, and I know my opponent is afraid.”
These solid victories build team confidence and offer the Bulldogs an opportunity to gain match experience as they prepare for bigger, more competitive dual matches. The first of these comes this Thursday when the Elis host the Lobos of New Mexico at the Cullman Courts at 2:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs have yet to beat the Lobos and lost last year 6-1. Shackelton was the lone winner at No. 6 singles.
“UNM is going to be a huge match for us,” Shackelton said. “It could definitely set the tone for the rest of our season.”
Many members of the team realize that on Thursday they have a great chance to beat the Lobos.
“In the past we have always played them in New Mexico during spring break,” Carlton said. “This year we match up very well against them, and we are confident we can beat them on our home courts.”
This Thursday’s match is not only the toughest the Elis have faced since the dual match season began, but it is especially significant because Yale head coach Alex Dorato was once a Lobo himself.
“We would like to win this match for Alex,” Shackelton said. “Every year we’ve traveled to UNM to play Alex’s alma mater in his hometown, and every year we have come away with a loss.”