The tenacity of the newest class of Bulldogs, combined with a strong showing in doubles matches, carried the Yale men’s tennis team over the weekend.
Yale competed in its season opener against six other schools — Buffalo, Old Dominion, Penn, VCU, William & Mary, and Georgetown — in the three-day Penn Invitational. Even with three first-team All-Ivy players returning, perhaps the most notable performance of the weekend came from rookie Dennis Wang ’19, who won all four of his singles matches and three of his four doubles matches.
“Everyone competed hard,” captain Jason Brown ’16 said. “People didn’t always bring their best tennis, but there was great energy and passion throughout the weekend.”
On the first day, the Bulldogs impressed the field in their season debut, winning 15 out of 24 total doubles and singles matches. The team competed in two rounds of play, each featuring four doubles and eight singles matches.
In the first round, the team won three out of four doubles matches and four of eight singles matches, highlighted by a 6–4 victory from the freshman duo Charlie Adams ’19 and Nathan Brown ’19. Meanwhile, Wang notably cruised through his singles match and defeated his Buffalo opponent 6–0, 6–1.
“The team looks promising this year with the addition of three freshmen,” Ziqi Wang ’18 said.
In the second round, the doubles teams continued to experience success on the court, with Jason Brown and Alex Hagermoser ’17 dominating their Old Dominion opponents 6–1. Newly combined duo Martin Svenning ’16 and Wang won their match as well. Although the singles matches tested the Bulldogs’ resilience — with three of eight singles matches stretching into tiebreakers — the Bulldogs still came out victorious in five of the eight matches.
On the second day, the Bulldogs earned mixed results across the board, winning two of the six doubles matches and eight of 14 singles matches. The team saw tremendous success from senior Svenning, who played against William & Mary’s No. 1 player Christina Cargill and defeated his opponent 4–6, 6–4 (10–6), with a spectacular tiebreaker in the end.
In addition, Hagermoser also delivered an outstanding performance, winning both his singles and double matches on Saturday.
“I’m very happy with how I played in high pressure points and situations,” Hagermoser said. “I played well overall, but was really able to take it up a notch in tiebreakers, winning almost every tiebreaker I played in singles and doubles.”
On the last day, the Bulldogs doubles teams continued to shine, taking home three victories out of four doubles matches, while the singles teams showed fatigue, winning only two of eight matches. Still, notable performances came from Dennis Wang and Hagermoser, who delivered victories in both their singles and doubles matches.
“Ziqi Wang, Dennis Wang and Hagermoser had especially impressive results, demonstrating their preparation over the summer and intensity,” Brown said.
Despite mixed results from this weekend, the Bulldogs found success among the freshmen as well as their doubles teams, which finished with a 11–7 record over three days of play. The team played well at the Penn Invitational and looks forward to facing all the Ivy teams at Princeton in the upcoming weekend, according to Hagermoser.
Ziqi Wang agreed that the team delivered a solid performance in its first tournament, adding that players are looking to take positive elements of their games into the next weekend.
The Elis will play its second tournament at the Ivy Plus Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey starting this Friday, Sept. 18.