The men’s tennis team is heading into Ivy League competition on a high note.

In their last non-conference match of the season, the Bulldogs took down Manhattan College, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Yale’s Cullman Courts.

The Elis took an early lead after sweeping the three doubles matches to earn the doubles point.

Brandon Wai ’07 and Ryan Murphy ’05 won, 9-8, at the No. 1 doubles spot while the No. 2 pair, Rowan Reynolds ’06 and Chris Lawler ’07, prevailed 8-5. Milosz Gudzowski ’06 and partner Rory Green ’08 rounded out the Bulldogs’ double’s wins with a 8-6 victory. Green was playing his first doubles match of the spring season in place of Johnny Lu ’05, who is out with a wrist injury.

Gudzowski said he was pleased with his and Green’s performance, especially since the pair did not have time to practice together before Saturday.

“We played well … considering it was our first time playing together,” he said. “We have enough good guys on our team that when one of them is injured, we can put in someone else.”

Lu, who moved up to No. 5 in singles over spring break, said he hopes to be back in time for the Ivy League season, which begins this Friday.

In singles, Wai, Murphy and Reynolds earned straight-set singles wins at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4, respectively.

Wai, in particular, dominated his competitor, Manhattan’s Zoltan Bus, 6-2, 6-0. Wai said he felt good after taking the lead as Bus did not seem like the type to fight back.

“I thought I played pretty solid,” he said. “I felt that if I got up on him, I’d be okay.”

Murphy fought hard to win his first set, eventually beating Diego Alvarado 7-5, 6-1. Conversely, Reynolds played an overpowering first set and more evenly matched second set against Manhattan’s Erez Cohen, winning 6-1, 7-5.

Reynolds said his performance in the first set was one of the greatest of his tennis career.

“I felt really good,” Reynolds said. “It was probably the best I’ve ever played in a certain stretch.”

Although the Jaspers put up a fight on the singles court, besting Gudzowski, Green, and Matt Feldman ’06 in straight sets, their efforts were not enough to overcome the Bulldogs’ lead.

With Manhattan out of the way, the Elis are ready to focus exclusively on their upcoming Ivy opponents. The Bulldogs will face Pennsylvania Friday before taking on Princeton Saturday. Both matches are at home.

Reynolds said the Elis cannot underestimate any opponent and must take the conference one match at a time.

“Next weekend is just so huge,” he said. “It’s going to be an exciting weekend and very crucial for our chances [at the title].”

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