Courtesy of Sam Rubin '95

Motivated by the two back-to-back losses against Princeton and Brown last weekend at the ECAC Indoor Championships, the Yale men’s tennis team stepped up to win against William & Mary but fell to Old Dominion this weekend. Meanwhile, the women’s team competed at the 71st annual Blue-Gray Tennis Classic held in Montgomery, Alabama, finishing seventh overall.

Coming out on top 4–1, the Bulldogs (4–3, 0–0 Ivy) competed against William & Mary (9–0, 0–0 CAA) at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center in Williamsburg, Virginia on Saturday. Looking to build upon this win, the Elis swung at another victory on Sunday against Old Dominion (6–3, 0–0 C-USA) but were defeated in a crushing 4–0 loss. Playing at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center in Norfolk, Virginia, Yale failed to clinch any matches against the Monarchs. Old Dominion beat No. 23 Penn 4–3 the previous day.

“William & Mary was a good win for us, and the loss to Old Dominion was a lot closer than the score shows,” Michael Sun ’22 said. “Overall, I’m really happy with the way our entire team battled in both matches, and I think there’s definitely still room for our team to grow as the season progresses. If we keep working hard and enter each match with the right mentality, we’ll have a great rest of the season.”

Saturday’s match against William & Mary commenced with a tight win over the doubles point. Sitting in the No. 1 spot, Yale’s Dylan King ’20 and Sun defeated William & Mary’s Chen Ruo and Brenden Volk 7–6. In the No. 3 spot, the Bulldog duo Nathan Brown ’19 and Arnav Dhingra ’22 bested Finbar Talcott and Sebastian Quiros 7–6. The first singles match proved disappointing for the Bulldogs, as William & Mary’s Oren Vasser defeated Dhingra 6–3, 6–2 in the No. 4 spot. Despite this slow start, the Bulldogs rebounded and clinched the next four matches, winning 4–1 overall.

Returning to the courts on Sunday, the Elis fell 4–0 to Old Dominion, who won all the matches. The Monarchs, a strong yet unranked team, are now 6–0 when playing on home courts.

The women’s team (5–4, 0–0 Ivy) also had an up-and-down weekend, winning one out of three matches at the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic. The Elis lost to Wake Forest (9–2, 0–0 ACC) on the first day of the tournament 4–0. According to Caroline Dunleavy ’21, during tournament formats, once a team reaches four points, the rest of the matches are abandoned. Dunleavy was winning her match 6–4, 0–3 when it had to be called off. The Bulldogs met a similar fate on Saturday, losing to Alabama 4–2, after winning the doubles point but losing the majority of the singles matches.

The Elis refused to tolerate these defeats and bounced back on the last day of the tournament, defeating Fresno State 4–2. Despite losing the doubles point, the Yale team showed its strength in the singles matches. Yale succeeded easily in the No. 1, 2, 3 and 6 spots — at No. 1, Samantha Martinelli ’21 conquered Fresno State’s Jennifer Timotin 6–0, 6–4, and Yale’s No. 2 Dunleavy annihilated Australian powerhouse Ella Husrefovic 6–0, 6–3.

“I think that the team fought really hard this weekend and fell just short of beating a strong Alabama team, and it was very positive to recover quickly and bounce back against Fresno State,” Dunleavy said. “This tournament was a great opportunity for our team to compete against some very competitive teams, and we proved that we belong with them. Our team has been working really hard, so this was a great test for us, and we’re definitely excited for what’s to come this spring.”

The men’s team welcomes the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Marist, Fairfield and Boston University in two weeks for the Yale Invitational, hosted at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. The women travel next weekend to Florida International University to play against the Panthers for the first time since 2016.

Margaret Hedeman | margaret.hedeman@yale.edu