The Yale men’s tennis team defended its home court this Saturday against Quinnipiac University, sweeping the Bobcats 7–0.
The Bulldogs (3–1, 0–0 Ivy) only dropped one double’s match during their tough battle against Quinnipiac (1–1, 1–0 MAAC), securing the doubles point and all six of their singles matches. For their single win, the Bobcats clinched the No. 3 doubles match in a tight 7–6 victory. The Bulldogs’ home court advantage at the Cullman Heyman Tennis Center along with stellar performances from veteran and rookie players led the team to a successful weekend.
“This was the best Quinnipiac team that I’ve ever seen,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “So we knew that we’d have to compete well. The match was much closer than the 7–0 score indicated. The doubles point came down to a tie-breaker at No. 1 doubles, and 5 of the 6 singles matches were extremely close.”
The doubles matches got off to an intense start. Yale’s No. 2 pairing of Ryan Cheng ’20 and Cody Lin ’21 handedly defeated their opponents 6–1, but the Bobcats rebutted the Elis with a victory at the No. 3 spot. The No. 1 pairing of Dylan King ’20 and Michael Sun ’22 fought to the bitter end in a tiebreak, but ultimately proved victorious 7–6.
Cheng noted that Lin was motivated to perform well in front of some friends at the doubles match as Lin’s boosted determination made his own job easy. The duo’s chemistry was evident through their notable 6–1 win. Meanwhile, King and Sun were also hitting their stride on Saturday.
“Michael [Sun] is a good partner to play with because he plays with a high IQ and is able to recognize opportunities,” King said. “We did well together in the fall and we’ve established good chemistry so far this spring.
Carrying a one point lead from doubles, the Bulldogs really shined in singles. The Elis went on to secure wins in all six singles matches. Furthermore, the Bulldogs failed to drop a single set, sweeping Quinnipiac and successfully securing all singles victories in two straight sets.
King posted a particularly steep victory in the No. 2 singles match, finishing with a 6–2, 6–1 defeat of his opponent Aleksa Martinovic. This win was especially impressive considering Martinovic was the Player of the Week in the MAAC coming into the weekend.
“Dylan King got us started off on the right foot and just ripped through his opponent,” Cheng said. “He won his match before most of us had even won the first set. Knowing that your team is up 2–0 really takes a lot of the burden off of your shoulders and you can just play loose.”
King’s hard work certainly inspired his other teammates. Following the No. 2 match, King’s fellow Bulldogs followed in his footsteps earning their two-set wins for the next four straight matches. No. 6 Alan Sou ’21 earned a triumphant win 6–3, 6–4 over his opponent while No. 4 Arnav Dhingra ’22 and No. 3 Cheng won 7–6, 6–3 and 6–2, 7–5, respectively.
Although the Elis had immense success in their matches, some of the sets posed tougher fights. No. 1 Sun, coming off a close victory in doubles found himself in another tight match, but ultimately proved victorious, winning 7–6, 7–5. The victories for Sou, Dhingra and Sun marked their first singles wins this season.
No. 5 Lin also narrowly won his singles match, finishing with the score 7–6(5), 7–5. Lin’s efforts in the match wrapped up the competition and secured Yale’s 7–0 sweep. His win extended his undefeated streak in both singles and doubles over the past four matches.
Before Yale took on Quinnipiac, they faced off with Cal Poly, Army and Michigan St. at West Point. Playing in New York, the Elis found success defeating the Mustangs 4–3 and the Black Knights 4–2. Against the Spartans., the Elis absorbed their first loss of the spring season in a 4–2 defeat.
“We had strong results the prior weekend at Army, particularly our upset win over Cal Poly, and also winning all three doubles points” Dorato said. “So, we came into the match against Quinnipiac with a lot of confidence.”
The Elis’ overwhelming success against Quinnipiac on Saturday and their upset win over Cal Poly the weekend before started their spring season off on the right foot, leaving Yale fans excited for what’s to come for the Bulldogs.
The Elis will next compete in Philadelphia at the ECAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 15.
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