After a weekend off, the men’s tennis team will return to action when they travel to Philadelphia today for Friday’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Regional tournament.
The Yale men’s tennis team will send seven players to the University of Pennsylvania for the regional tournament, which is the most important individual tournament of the fall season. The ITA regional tournaments feature the best tennis players from the same NCAA Division. At the Division I East Regional tournament, Matt Feldman ’06, Milosz Gudzowski ’06, Johnny Lu ’05 and Ryan Murphy ’05 will play singles. Murphy will pair with David Goldman ’04, and Ben Woodhouse ’03 and Rowan Reynolds ’06 will team up for doubles.
Although Murphy and Goldman have a guaranteed spot as the No. 5 seed in this weekend’s tourney, Woodhouse and Reynolds will not be sure of their status until as late as Friday morning because the tournament draw has not yet been finalized, men’s tennis head coach Alex Dorato said.
There will be 96 players in the singles championship, while 48 teams will compete in doubles. In the tournament, the Bulldogs will compete against players from such formidable opponents as Harvard and Virginia Tech, who finished first and second respectively at the ECAC tournament Oct. 7.
Andrew Aarons ’05 will also travel with the team to Philadelphia to participate in the St. Joseph’s Classic, a separate tournament in the area.
The experience of second-year veterans Lu and Murphy combined with the talent that the freshmen bring to the lineup should give the Elis a chance to send someone to the national tournament, Dorato said.
“Matt [Feldman] is a hard hitting groundstroker,” Dorato said. “Milosz is a strong counter-puncher who tortures his opponents by making them run all over the court.”
With Woodhouse’s strong serve and Reynolds’ returning abilities, the pair should turn some heads in Philadelphia this weekend.
“It is a tremendous honor playing with Rowan,” Woodhouse said. “He makes my job a lot easier because he runs down all of the balls, allowing me to wait back and hit really hard.”
Players like Woodhouse and Reynolds demonstrate the varying personalities on Yale’s roster that make the lineup so rich this year.
“Ben [Woodhouse] is a fun guy to play with, and we get along well both on and off the court,” Reynolds said.
Murphy and Goldman are seeded No. 5 in the tournament. They have competed together in doubles since last year and have come to be quite a formidable duo in the region, utilizing an unorthodox on-court strategy.
“Dave [Goldman] and Ryan [Murphy] make an unusual doubles team because they stay back rather than going to the net to volley,” said Dorato. “In any case, they are still very successful, and I expect them to do very well at the ITAs.”
The two singles finalists and the doubles champion from ITA the regional tournament will earn a spot in the ITA national indoor tournament Nov. 7-10 in Dallas.