In the second week of Ivy League play, the men’s and women’s tennis teams battled against Columbia and Cornell. While the men lost both of their matches, the women split the weekend, losing to Columbia 6–1 on Saturday but bouncing back to defeat Cornell 4–3 on Sunday.
Because the men’s and women’s teams share the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, the teams must alternate every week between home and away matches. It was the men who hit the road this weekend, and they were welcomed to New York City by a 4–0 loss to Columbia. The Lions (11–5, 4–0 Ivy) entered their match ranked No. 22 in the nation and led by upperclassmen Winston Lin and Dragos Ignat.
“We fought really hard,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “It was a tough road trip, but we competed really well.”
Columbia won the doubles point to begin the match. Stefan Doehler ’18 and Fedor Andrienko ’18, who have performed well for Yale (11–9, 1–3) in doubles competition all season, lost the No. 1 doubles match by a score of 6–2. After the pairing of Martin Svenning ’16 and Ziqi Wang ’18 lost its match to Ignat and Ashok Narayana, Tyler Lu ’17 and Alex Hagermoser ’17 were not able to finish their match because the Lions had already clinched the doubles point, though they were only down 6–5.
Columbia then needed just three singles victories to win the overall match, which it received from the first three positions. According to Dorato, the Bulldogs viewed the loss to Columbia as proof that they could compete with the top teams in the Ivy League. In the incomplete matches, Daniel Faierman ’15 was battling Columbia’s Shawn Hadavi close when his match was called, and Andrienko was playing in his third set against Mike Vermeer with a score of 6–3, 3–6, 1–1.
The challenging stretch of the Ivy League schedule continued on Sunday for the Elis as they squared off against No. 51 Cornell (11–7, 3–2). The Big Red relied on the double point and top position singles play to defeat the Bulldogs 5–2.
Yale received singles victories from Doehler and Faierman, with the senior coming away victorious in three sets against Cornell’s Colin Sinclair by a score of 2–6, 6–3, 7–6.
“Several guys on our team competed exceptionally well,” Wang said. “Faierman and Doehler both won in three tight sets.”
In the women’s action, Columbia and Cornell traveled to the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center to face the Bulldogs in New Haven.
The match on Saturday against Columbia (11–7, 3–2) began in Yale’s favor as the Elis (8–9, 2–2) captured the doubles point behind a strong performance from Madeleine Hamilton ’16 and Ree Ree Li ’16. The duo defeated the No. 78 ranked pair of Tina Jiang and Crystal Leung 8–3. The Elis also received an 8–5 doubles victory from Carol Finke ’18 and Sherry Li ’17. However, the Bulldogs were unable to win a match in singles play, dropping the decision 6–1 to Columbia.
“The team competed well on Saturday,” Hamilton said. “Unfortunately, [we] came up short in some close games that cost us the match.”
The Elis were able to bounce back on Sunday, defeating Cornell 4–3 and moving to 0.500 in the Ivy League. The win avenged an earlier loss to Cornell (9–7, 3–2) this spring at the ECAC Championships. Hamilton fell behind after losing the first set in a tiebreak before battling back and clinching the overall match victory with a 6–7(3), 6–4, 7–5 win. Captain Hanna Yu ’15 defeated Cornell’s Dena Tanenbaum 6–0, 6–2 in No. 1 singles, while Li and Finke were the other two singles winners, both in straight sets.
“The win was huge for us because it showed that we could win close matches,” Ree Ree Li said. “We will have three really tough matches going forward and the match with Cornell will give us confidence for those matches.”
The women’s team will be back in action this Friday in an away match against Harvard, while the men’s team will host the Crimson at 1 p.m. on the same day.