Over the weekend, the men’s tennis team opened up its season with decisive 7-0 victories against Connecticut neighbors Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac. Despite not playing a match since October, the Bulldogs dominated on their home turf in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center on Sunday.
“We have been showing strength against the two teams from last season, so I actually expected this win,” said Alex Dorato, head coach of men’s tennis. Team captain Erik Blumenkranz ’12 added that the team was proud of how it played, and Sacred Heart was the perfect opponent to start the spring season.
Joel Samaha ’12, whom the coach identified as the star of Sunday’s match, said that after a painful season last spring the team was thrilled to win by such large margins on Sunday. The Elis concluded last season with six straight Ivy League losses.
“Although these matches against Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac are somewhat like scrimmages, it is sometimes nice to see how badly we can beat up an opponent,” Samaha said.
John Huang ’13, Daniel Hoffman ’13, Samaha, Zach Krumholz ’15, Zach Dean ’13, Daniel Faierman ’15, Marc Powers ’13 and Matt Saiontz ’15 all played singles against the local rivals and took a clean sweep in the matches. Nine different players played in the doubles and conquered their opponets. In No. 1 singles, Blumenkranz and Samaha won 8-3 against Sacred Heart. In the top doubles spot against Quinnipiac, Hoffman and Powers won 8-4.
Blumenkranz and Samaha said the team has two goals for this season — to take both the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Ivy League titles.
“For the last three seasons I was playing, we have never won the ECAC,” Samaha said. “I want to win the titles for ECAC and the Ivies so that I can have something to look back on. We recruited three new freshmen rookies, who have added positive attitude to our team, so now we have more confidence in our plays. Although it sounds like a cliché, we will give our best this season for the title.” Samaha said.
The men’s tennis will face William & Mary in Virginia on February fourth.
The No. 35 women’s tennis team also had a successful weekend when it kicked off its ITA play in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Elis held off No.21 Notre Dame with a narrow 4-3 victory and advanced to the championship final for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Elizabeth Epstein ’13, Hanna Yu ’15 and captain Steph Kent ’12 won in the singles, and the Bulldogs also demonstrated strength in the doubles. Annie Sullivan ’14 and Elizabeth Epstein ’13 won 9-7 and Blair Seidman ’14 and Steph Kent ’12 closed the match with an 8-4 win.
“It was a big match, and Notre Dame was challenging,” Kent said. “However, we have a strong team, and every player was confident, Moreover…this eight-courted Michigan stadium has such a long history, and our head coach Danielle’s pictures are everywhere in the stadium.”
Unfortunately, on Sunday, the women’s team lost a close game against No. 10 Michigan. Like the Saturday’s match, the team excelled in doubles. Sullivan and Epstein won 8-6, and Seidman and Kent 9-8(1). However, the Bulldogs, aside from Yu and Kent, did not have much luck in the singles. The women’s team will take on Oklahoma and Arkansas at Arkansas on Feb. 11.