Playing together on home soil for the first time this season, both men’s and women’s tennis clinched resounding victories.
The women’s team defeated Boston College, 5-2, and the men defeated both Navy and UConn in decisive shutouts this weekend. This is the first year that men’s tennis has shut out both Army and Navy since 1993, when the Elis last won the Ivy League title. The win over UConn was the third consecutive shutout for the men’s team.
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”14226″ ]
Mike Caldwell ’09 headed the team at No. 1 singles against Navy, following a closely contested 7-5 set with a strong 6-2 second set. Captain Brandon Wai ’07 played No. 1 singles against Navy, trouncing his opponent Ben Schueler, 6-0, 6-1.
“I thought both matches went great,” Wai said. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy from the beginning and not let up. We knew that we were better than both teams and we wanted to send a message to show them how good we were.”
The men’s team as a whole only dropped one set in Sunday’s matches, but No. 4 singles Matt Schimmel ’10 followed his initial 3-6 loss with two victories, 6-1 and 6-4. In the only shutout match of the day, Tom Santoro ’09 did not drop one game at No. 6 singles against UConn. In no singles matches did any UConn player take more than three games in a single set.
The women’s victory over Boston College was less absolute, but no less rewarding, especially considering they lost to BC with an identical score last year.
“It was great to avenge our loss,” head coach Danielle Lund said. “I think we competed very well and found a way to win even though we didn’t play our best.”
Yale’s Janet Kim ’09 roundly defeated Lana Krasnopolsky 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1. One step down the ladder, No. 2 Sarah Lederhandler’s ’10 victory was less easily won, coming back from a terrible opening defeat to win, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“I think the match went really well on Friday,” Lederhandler said. “Even though a few of us were not feeling our best, we all came out really strong. The doubles point was really close, but after we clinched that, the singles went smoothly.”
Lederhandler was among the victorious doubles players, teaming up with Jessica Rhee ’10 to defeat Allina Sullivan and Karsnopolsky, 8-6. Christine Alford ’07 and Olivia Nix ’07 were defeated, 8-2, by Desha Cherkasov and Lauren Cash, but Kim and Christina Cutter’s ’09 8-1 victory clinched the point.
“I was particularly impressed with our freshmen in doubles,” Alford said of Rhee and Lederhandler. “They are a relatively new combination, and they had great chemistry on the court this weekend and really looked like an experienced doubles pair out there.”
Neither team plans to rest on their laurels, and hopefully these impressive home-court victories will give the Bulldogs the assurance to continue performing at a similarly high level in their coming matches. The men will face off against Purdue and Loyola Marymount University at home this coming weekend in what should prove to be two hard matches.
“The decisiveness of yesterday’s matches will give us confidence heading into this coming weekend’s matches against two strong teams,” men’s head coach Alex Dorato said. “I think we have a very good shot at both teams based on how well we’ve been playing.”
Having proven their dominion over Beantown by taking out both Boston University and Boston College, the women’s team is ready to make their spring break trip to California, where they will face UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, San Diego and Marshall.
“We plan on continuing to work hard in practice over the next two weeks to be as prepared as possible for our four spring break matches,” Lund said.
These recent matches put both Yale teams in a good position to continue fighting and should give them the momentum to continue strong seasons.