This weekend the men’s tennis team used raw talent to beat Columbia and endurance to down Cornell, keeping the Bulldogs atop the Ivy standings with only two weeks of the season left to play.
Saturday’s match was a veritable display of individual power as the Bulldogs crushed the Lions, 6-1. The Elis conceded the doubles point, pulling off only one win, but then downed Columbia in all six singles matches. The No. 1 doubles team of Rowan Reynolds ’06 and Rory Green ’08 lost a tough 8-6 match, but Milosz Gudzowski ’06 and Chris Lawler ’07 proved themselves a winning combination with their 8-2 victory at No. 3.
“You really have to start off with a fire, with some anger and some intensity, because doubles is only to eight games, so you really have to get started off on the right foot the right way,” Reynolds said on the difficulty Yale faced in doubles matches.
He also said the team wasn’t as intense as it could have been, which kept the Bulldogs from getting the doubles point.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs gritted out a difficult 4-3 win on home turf over Cornell. Three of the six singles matches were definitive wins. Both No. 1 Brandon Wai ’07 and No. 5 Rory Green ’08 won their matches 6-2, 6-4, and No. 2 Gudzowski played a 6-3, 6-2 game.
The doubles teams, while successful, did not secure such clean-cut victories. The second doubles team of Wai and Michael Caldwell ’09 set the example for easy wins by attaining a clean 8-4 victory, but the third doubles team played a tense match. Gudzowski and Lawler decided Yale’s overall victory at No. 3 doubles by pulling off a 9-7 win, continuing their winning streak from Saturday.
Wai said the No. 3 doubles match was a good example of Yale’s toughness, since the team was able to recover from a 7-2 deficit to gain a 9-7 win.
“We’re still not playing to potential in doubles, but playing an Ivy League team, it’s always competitive, and each match is going to be close no matter what,” Gudzowski said regarding the steep competition in the doubles arena.
On his own weekend winning streak, Gudzowski said he is just playing his best tennis now.
“I feel quite great. I played as well as I have all year, especially against the Ivy League,” he said.
Reynolds said the team proved its cohesiveness this weekend.
“I think I played pretty well, but not my best, but that’s the good thing about the team, because this weekend we had each other’s backs,” he said.
Gudzowski said the team’s weekend winning streak can be attributed to a positive outlook, which is crucial in matches against similarly talented Ivy teams.
The team is confident that next weekend’s match against Harvard will go well.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence right now, so we know we can definitely beat Harvard if we get some good practices in,” Wai said.