Injuries and illness thwarted the men’s tennis team from achieving its Yale Invitational goals.
The squad won the B-flight competition, but otherwise struggled against Cornell, Dartmouth and Columbia.
“We did okay, but not great,” Coach Alex Dorato said. “There is a lot that we still need to work on.”
Unlike past Yale Invitationals, this year’s rendition featured considerable competition to ready the squad for the regular spring season.
“We expected all of the teams to be challenging, especially Columbia. Cornell was also a tough competitor this weekend,” Dorato said.
Members of the team that competed for singles included Ryan Murphy ’05 and Andrew Rosenfeld ’04 for the A-flight division, Johnny Lu ’05 and Milosz Gudzowski ’06 at the B-flight division, Rowan Reynolds ’06 and Matthew Feldman ’06 at C-flight, and Andrew Arons ’05, Dan Arellano ’04, and William Vidal ’06 at D-flight. Gudzowki was the only one to win his division, beating out teammate Lu for the top spot in the B-flight finals.
Rosenfeld started the tournament with a promising performance but faltered in the semifinals. After winning his first match, a leg cramp in the middle of the second match forced him to go to the hospital for treatment.
“Had I not gotten hurt, I feel that I had a good shot at winning the tournament,” Rosenfeld said.
Additional injuries and health complications also hurt the Bulldogs this weekend, taking away from individual play and forcing unfamiliar pairings for the doubles matches.
On Saturday, Reynolds became ill and did not play on Sunday. The continued absence of Steve Berke ’03, the team’s only nationally ranked player, hurt the team, as well.
Murphy, the top seed for the A-flight division and a member of last year’s All-Ivy first team, lost in the tournament’s opening match. But Murphy remains confident for the upcoming ECAC Team Championship.
“It was just one of those weekends,” Murphy said. “We placed second at the [ECAC] last year, and I am confident that we can improve on that this weekend.”
Should the Bulldogs place first at the ECAC, they will earn a spot in the national team indoor tournament later in the year.
Dorato attributes many of the team’s shortcomings to not practicing enough in certain areas. He said the team needs work on doubles, as well as some other fundamentals that can improve only through repetition.
“We need to focus on keeping the ball deep and attacking on the short balls,” Dorato said.
The team looks to redeem itself at this coming weekend’s all-important ECAC Team Championship at Flushing Meadow, N.Y.
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