The men’s tennis team had a disappointing weekend on the road, recording only one singles win in their matches against No. 75 East Tennessee State on Saturday and Virginia Tech on Sunday.
The Elis (1-4) fell 5-2 to the Buccaneers (3-3) before losing 6-1 to the Hokies (5-2) the next day. Both matches were held in Blacksburg, Va.
Ryan Murphy ’05, Yale’s No. 2 singles player, was the only Bulldog to pull out a singles win, defeating East Tennessee’s Fernando Fiuri, 6-4, 5-7, 6-0. Murphy said his match started out close before he gained momentum and the upper hand.
“Luckily I served very well and was able to win the first set,” he said. “In the end I started playing more aggressively and was able to win the third set fairly easily.”
Brandon Wai ’07, Milosz Gudzowski ’06, Rory Green ’08 and Johnny Lu ’05 were defeated in straight sets by the Buccaneers, while No. 4 Rowan Reynolds ’06 lost in three sets.
Although No. 1 Bulldog duo Wai and Murphy lost 9-8 to East Tennessee’s Fiuri and Oscar Posada in a close doubles match, Yale’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams both beat their opponents 8-5 to earn the doubles point.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs lost all six singles matches to give Virginia Tech a decisive victory.
The Elis started the match with another strong doubles performance, winning two of their three matches. No. 2 duo Chris Lawler ’06 and Reynolds defeated Virginia Tech’s Angel Diankov and Brent Wilkins, 8-5, while No. 3 pair Lu and Gudzowski bested Alexei Sergeev and Adel Abbas, 9-7.
Lu said the doubles wins against both teams were encouraging. The Bulldogs have been working hard on improving their doubles play, and these victories were evidence of that effort, he said.
“I feel like our doubles has improved a lot,” Lu said. “This is one of the first times I remember the two and three positions clinching. I think its reassuring to see that we can win at every position in doubles.”
The Bulldogs did not fare as well in their singles matches. The Hokies defeated Wai, Murphy, Green and Lu in straight sets. Meanwhile, No. 3 Gudzowski fell to Albert Larregola in three sets, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.
After a 6-3 victory in his first set, Reynolds lost 7-5 in a close second match and 10-4 in the tie-break. Reynolds said he was pleased with his play considering he is recovering from a recent knee injury.
“Both of my matches went to three [sets], and even though I lost, I was pretty happy with the way I played,” he said.
In addition, Reynolds said he was happy with the team’s effort as a whole despite the negative outcomes.
“Even though we lost, I still feel like we can compete with those teams,” he said. “The scores didn’t really tell the whole story.”
Playing on the road, though physically stressful, brought the players closer together and built team morale, Reynolds added.
Despite this weekend’s losses, Murphy said he is still optimistic about this season.
“I think that its always tough to play on the road and that a lot of our guys including myself are really trying to find our games, so each match we play we are getting better and more comfortable out on the court,” he said. “Now we need to get some wins under our belt and gain some confidence.”
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play the U.S. Naval Academy next Saturday at home.