In two Empire State matches this weekend, the men’s tennis team (7-10, 2-3 Ivy) found itself on opposite sides of narrow 4-3 scores. Yale fell to Cornell (12-5, 3-3) Friday before beating Columbia (8-6, 3-4) Saturday.
During the Friday match at Cornell, the Elis won half their singles matches but failed to secure the doubles point, usually Yale’s strong spot, losing 4-3. Traveling to New York City the next day, the Bulldogs corrected their mistake against Columbia, picking up the doubles point and the close 4-3 win.
Milosz Gudzowski ’06 said the weekend’s two games illustrate how crucial it is for the Bulldogs to win the doubles point. The team that wins two of three doubles matches wins the doubles point.
“The [Cornell] match could have gone either way,” Gudzowski said. “What really hurt us was losing the doubles point. If we had won it, we would have won the match; we think we’re a better team in general.”
He said the team’s excitement before the New York City match probably gave the Elis the little boost they needed to win. Gudzowski beat Columbia’s Rajeev Emany 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.
“The guy I was playing I had beaten in the fall,” Gudzowski said. “I knew I was a better player, and I didn’t feel any pressure going into the match.”
No. 3 singles David Goldman ’04, who lost to Columbia’s Alan Bohane last spring, said he came into the Lions’ match facing Bohane again and expecting a tough match. But instead, Goldman defeated his opponent handily, 6-4, 6-1.
“I was just focused on every point, trying to win every point without thinking about the match,” Goldman said.
Goldman added that Bohane, whom he heard of back home in Florida, had defeated Brown’s rookie Nick Goldberg the day before. Goldberg beat Goldman 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 earlier this year when the Bears beat the Elis 5-2 in Yale’s first Ivy League match.
The Bulldogs have been plagued this year by injuries and sickness, and Johnny Lu ’05 remains out with a wrist injury. But Gudzowski said the Elis have learned to cope with injuries as a part of daily competition.
“[The injuries] really didn’t affect us at all,” Gudzowski said. “We’ve been playing like this for the rest of the year, and we deal with it as it comes.”
The Bulldogs have just two more matches before season end: home against Harvard Wednesday and at Dartmouth Friday. Yale hopes to sweep these two contests to finish with a winning 4-3 Ivy League record.
“Even though we’ve lost more of the Ivy League matches than we’ve won, we feel we’re ready to go out there,” Gudzowski said. “We will win those last two matches.”
The Bulldogs finished last spring 0-7 in the Ancient Eight.