The men’s tennis team opened its spring season over the weekend, defeating Colgate University 7-0 and Boston College 5-2. The matches marked only the first of two times this season that the Elis will play two schools in one weekend.
Yale was heavily favored going into the weekend’s matches. Without taking either team for granted, the Elis were looking to gain both confidence and experience in the young season.
“Traditionally we have done very well against these two schools,” captain Chris Shackelton ’02 said. “We scheduled them both in the same day with hopes that it would give everyone a chance to get into the season and get some playing time. Overall, it was a very successful weekend.”
Shackelton contributed to Yale’s sweep of Colgate by defeating Reed Hagmann in singles 6-1, 7-5 and earning a victory with partner Ryan Coyle ’02 in doubles. In all six singles matches, the Elis dropped just one set.
“We didn’t know what to expect out of Colgate,” Shackelton said. “They have a team that’s much stronger than in years past. We were very happy coming away from that one with a 7-0 victory. We weren’t really tested at any point.”
Coyle agreed that it was important not to take the weekend’s matches for granted.
“It’s hard to play teams like BC and Colgate because they’re definitely the underdogs,” Coyle said. “They have everything to gain, and we have everything to lose. You take everybody on the schedule seriously or else you can really end up with some disastrous results.”
Against Boston College, the Bulldogs got off to a rocky start after dropping the doubles point to the Eagles. But the Elis regrouped in singles play, winning five out of the six matches.
“It got a little tight,” Shackelton said. “We put in some doubles teams that hadn’t played together in the past. We ended up losing the doubles point, so we started out 1-0. That was kind of a wake up call to us, [but] we knew we definitely still had the advantage in singles.”
Ryan Murphy ’05 dominated his singles matches against both Boston College and Colgate. He defeated the Eagles’ Justin Slattery 6-1, 6-3 and Colgate’s Evan Pauster 6-1, 6-0.
“Murphy continued to play very well,” Shackelton said. “He just destroyed the two people he played. He’s definitely continuing the success he had in the fall. “
Junior Steve Berke ’03 contributed a win against the Eagles in both the No. 1 singles match and in doubles play. While many Yale players battled against both Colgate and Boston College, Berke and Shackelton only played against one of the schools. Both players are suffering from nagging injuries but do not expect to sit out any matches.
David Goldman ’04 was the only Eli player to sit out the entire weekend. Goldman is suffering from a wrist injury, but the team is hopeful he will be available to play this weekend when the Bulldogs travel to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico State University.
The Elis will head to New Mexico Thursday morning to get ready to take on head coach Alex Dorato’s alma mater Friday and Saturday. Last year, the Bulldogs fell to the Aggies by one point in their toughest loss of the season.
“These matches will be tough because these teams are really good and Albuquerque is at a higher altitude than here at Yale, so that will take some getting used to,” Coyle said.