Looking to build on a recent 7–0 sweep over Quinnipiac, the Yale men’s tennis team continued its season at the ECAC Indoor Tennis Championships but finished last with losses in a series of tight matches.
The event took place in Philadelphia and featured all of the Ancient Eight besides No. 16 Columbia, who was at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Over the course of the weekend, the Bulldogs put up a passionate fight but lost by scores of 4–3 to both Princeton and Brown, who were seeded second and fifth, respectively. Last year, the Bulldogs hosted the event and were defeated by the Tigers but won against the Bears to clinch the loser’s bracket.
“Every match against an Ivy opponent is a battle and this weekend reflected that,” Dylan King ’20 said. “We’ve been playing with a lot of grit so far this year, and if we can continue to put ourselves in the position to win, matches will start to swing our way.”
On the first day of the indoor championships, Yale solidly won two of its three doubles matches against the Tigers. But the singles matches were more closely contested. The teams were tied after Princeton’s Ryan Seggerman won the No. 1 spot against Yale’s first-year star Michael Sun 6–4, 6–3. Yale then reclaimed the lead with King defeating Princeton’s Damina Rodriguez 6–2, 7–6. However, the Tigers ultimately prevailed 4–3 after winning three other singles matches, including Princeton’s Karl Polin’s narrow victory against Ryan Cheng ’20 in a heated tiebreak 2–6, 6–1, 7–6 (8).
On Saturday, Brown led the match with a win over the doubles point. The Bulldogs fought back and Sun, King and Cheng clinched the next three matches in the No. 1, 2 and 3 singles, respectively, to lead 3–2. After Brown’s Charles Tan beat Cody Lin ’21 7–5, 7–5 to tie it up again, everything came down to the No. 6 matchup. Andrew Heller ’20 and Robert Siniakowicz split the first two sets 6–3, 7–6 (8) after a tie break before Siniakowicz ran away with the victory, finishing the third and final set 6–1.
“Though this weekend didn’t really go our way with two 3–4 losses, we were in both of the matches until the very end,” Cheng said. “Against Princeton, we fought until the very last point. Dylan has been a lockdown at No. 2 singles this year. As for the Brown match, this was the first time we had lost the doubles point in six matches, but our team showed that it wouldn’t fluster us at all. In both matches, we had chances to win. We simply didn’t capitalize.”
Due to Friday and Saturday’s losses, the Bulldogs were not placed in any matches on Sunday, the final day of the ECACs. Penn ultimately came away with a 4–3 win against Harvard in the finals of the championship to emerge as the tournament champion.
Looking ahead, though the Bulldogs did not come away from the tournament with favorable final results, the individual matches and close scores demonstrated that the Elis are a team to be reckoned with in the upcoming Ivy conference matches in April.
“All in all, this weekend proved to every other team that we were capable of competing with them,” Cheng said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m looking forward to it.”
The Bulldogs travel to Virginia next weekend to compete against William & Mary.
Margaret Hedeman | firstname.lastname@example.org .