In its third consecutive win to begin the season, the men’s tennis team trounced the University of Connecticut 7-0 Feb. 8, despite injuries to some key players.
The Bulldogs (3-0) are undefeated in non-league play and face Virginia Tech and the College of William and Mary next weekend. Ivy League competition begins in April.
Prateek Tandon ’03 said despite the injuries, everyone played with focus and pulled off a relatively easy victory.
“Our doubles was very strong,” Tandon said. “That momentum carried over into the singles, and all the guys played well.”
To build on the successful beginning of the season, Tandon said he would like to see greater intensity.
“Hopefully, as we get more matches under our belt, we’ll get the killer instinct going,” Tandon said.
Head coach Alex Dorato said competing against Connecticut was a bit more difficult than the Elis might have expected from experience.
“As a team, they’re a little bit better than they were [last season],” Dorato said.
Dorato also said the Bulldogs’ effort was bolstered by the return of Ryan Murphy ’05, who had been sidelined with an injury.
Although Yale’s No. 2 doubles team “dug itself into a hole,” Tandon said, Murphy and Ben Woodhouse ’03 eventually won 8-6, beating Max Zubatsky and Brian Ravesloot.
“Murphy came up really big, and that took a lot of pressure off me,” Woodhouse said. “So we were able to get the job done.”
Tandon said the Elis face their biggest challenge yet when they compete against the Hokies and the Tribe, both nationally ranked tennis squads. Playing in Virginia will only add to the difficulty.
“We’ll have to expect some rowdy crowds,” Tandon said. “Everyone has their own individual goals, so, as a team, we can work on our attitudes.”
Dorato said although the Bulldogs lost to Virginia Tech 6-1 in the short fall season, the Eli doubles teams scored victories and should lead the singles matches into wins, too.
“We have to be on top of our game,” Dorato said. “Mainly, we need to win the doubles point. We’re a lot better team than we were in the fall.”
— Nachy Kanfer