Rest and relaxation are not on the agenda for the Yale men’s and women’s tennis teams over spring break. Both teams will be in action as the men’s team prepares for nine matches over the next two weeks and the women’s team prepares for four contests.
The men’s team has not competed since traveling to Virginia two weeks ago, but they will kick off spring break by hosting Fairleigh Dickinson, Marist and Stony Brook on March 7 and March 8. The Bulldogs will compete in matches against the other schools on both of the two days, and they will then travel to Loyola Marymount on March 14.
Improvement will be the theme for the Elis, who have already compiled a 6–3 record thus far in the season, including impressive wins over George Washington and William and Mary. However, the team is focused on gaining momentum for Ivy League play that begins next month.
“Coming into spring break, we know we are going to have to train hard if we want to compete in the Ivies,” Stefan Doehler ’18 said. “We’ve had some solid wins in the season so far but we definitely know we can do better, and spring break will be a perfect time to work on what we need to improve.”
The cold, snowy weather in New Haven also has some members of the team circling March 15 and March 19 on their calendars. The Bulldogs will travel to Irvine and San Diego to face the Portland Pilots and the Utah Utes, respectively.
“The team is very excited to be traveling to the warm California weather and play three good teams,” Tyler Lu ’17 said. “We’re always looking to get better, and being able to play teams outside of the northeast is a great opportunity to play new opponents and gain valuable experience.”
Meanwhile, the Yale women’s team is focused on bouncing back from losses to Texas Tech and Tulane at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Alabama two weeks ago. The Bulldogs begin the break by hosting Hartford on March 11. They will then travel to the Lone Star State for matches against the University of Texas, Rice, and William and Mary, the latter of which will be played in Houston.
The matchup against the University of Texas may prove to be the most interesting of the four as the Elis will square off against their former head coach, Danielle Lund McNamara.
“We are really pumped,” said Hanna Yu ’15. “It will be interesting to actually play against [Coach McNamara]. Spring break is always a fun trip in general because we have a lot of good matches.”
Carol Finke ’18 expressed her excitement about the opportunity to solely focus on tennis and not have to worry about the stress of classes, hectic traveling and even the weather. Additionally, the break will also be a time for recuperating and recovery for some members of the team.
“Several of our key players have had some injuries this winter, and we are hoping we can all be healthy and perform at our potential,” Finke said.
The key to success for the Bulldogs over the break will continue to be the overall health of the team. It will also be crucial for younger players such as Sherry Li ’17, Caroline Lynch ’17, Valerie Shklover ’18 and Finke to continue improving and competing at a high level. Yu and Courtney Amos ’16 provide veteran leadership for the Elis, who look to use the four matches over spring break to prepare for Ivy League play.