This weekend, Yale’s tennis teams finished conference play and concluded their seasons with Friday matches against Dartmouth and Sunday matches against Harvard.

The women’s tennis team (14–9, 5–2 Ivy) traveled to Hanover on Friday, where they took on Dartmouth (7–13, 1–6). Meanwhile, the men hosted the Big Green (9–12, 1–6) in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. On Sunday, the men hit the road for Cambridge, where they battled Harvard (18–4, 7–0), as the women welcomed the Crimson (12–11, 3–4) to New Haven.  

The women’s team bested Dartmouth in a 4–3 victory on Friday and overcame Harvard in a 4–3 thriller Sunday.

Chelsea Kung ’23 led the team in singles, followed by Caroline Dunleavy ’22, Jessie Gong ’22, Rhea Shrivastava ’23, Vivian Cheng ’23 and Kathy Wang ’22. Kung and Gong headed the women’s doubles line-up, ahead of Cheng with Shrivastava and Wang with Dunleavy.

“We had a great final weekend, beating two tough teams, Dartmouth and Harvard,” women’s head coach Rachel Kahan said.

Victories this weekend meant that Kung and Cheng finished the Ivy season undefeated. On Friday, Gong and Cheng won straight-set victories against the Big Green with scores of (7–5, 6–4) and (6–4, 6–1), respectively. Kung and Shrivastava snatched third-set wins of (6–3, 4–6, 6–4) and (1–6, 6–1, 6–1), respectively. 

On Sunday, Cheng once again won in straight sets (6–2, 6–0). She was joined by No. 1 singles player Kung in a two-set win of (7–5, 6–4). At No. 3 singles, Gong clinched a nail-biter with a final score of (3–6, 6–4, 6–4).

In addition to the Harvard match being the seniors’ last collegiate match, it was also their Senior Day. The coaches and players celebrated the contributions that Wang, Dunleavy and Gong made over their years with the Yale tennis program. 

For Gong, this year’s Senior Day was particularly special, as it highlighted her team’s full schedule and year of playing after two seasons lost to the pandemic.

For first-year Brettkelly, the team’s 5–2 Ivy League standing is a reminder that every team is at the same level of competitiveness if they begin the match prepared to fight. 

The Yale women’s tennis team finished the season at No. 62 in the national rankings. Princeton leads the Ivy League at No. 49, followed by No. 56 Columbia, No. 62 Yale, No. 63 Penn and No. 73 Harvard.

Kung ends the season ranked at No. 73 nationally

The men began the weekend with a substantial 5–2 victory over the Big Green. However, the team ended their season with a 0–4 loss to the Crimson. 

Theo Dean ’24 led the team in singles, followed by Michael Sun ’23, Cody Lin ’22, Aidan Reilly ’25, Walker Oberg ’25 and Luke Neal ’25. Lin and Renaud Lefevre ’24 headed the team in doubles, ahead of Dean with Reilly and Sun with Neal.

“On Friday, we were able to beat Dartmouth after dropping the doubles point so we learned we have the ability, and on Sunday, we faced the best team we have played all year in Harvard. They are talented and tough and it takes sustaining a very high level of play to stay with them,” men’s head coach Chris Drake said.

On Friday, Dean, Sun and Reilly were straight-set victors with scores of (6–2, 6–2), (7–6, 6–3) and (6–0, 6–2), respectively. Luke Neal battled during a three-set match to win (3–6, 6–3, 6–3). 

Because the Dartmouth match was the men’s last home match of the season, the Bulldogs celebrated their sole senior, Lin, on Senior Day at a reception after the match. 

Although the overall match score suggests a comfortable victory for Harvard over the men’s team on Sunday, the actual match was far closer than the score indicates. Reilly and Dean posted a 6–2 win at the second line of doubles, and the Elis’ No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams fell in tiebreakers. Neal was up a set and ahead in the second set 2–0 and Dean was one game from a victory when their matches were pulled, following Harvard taking their fourth point. 

Dean particularly stood out this weekend. Not only did he collect a singles victory on Friday and a near-victory on Sunday against Harvard’s Henry von der Schulenburg, who is ranked No. 31 nationally, but he and Reilly triumphed over both sets of opponents this weekend in doubles to end with a conference play record of 6–1.

Sun ends the season ranked at No. 111 nationally

Ahead of the next season, Oberg hopes “to see the same guys [next season] and see if [they] can do better against them after working harder than them during the off-season”.

The men’s team did not make the list of the top 75 Division 1 teams in the country. However, five other members of the league are currently ranked: Harvard checks in at No. 14, ahead of No. 25 Columbia, No. 39 Princeton, No. 45 Penn and No. 65 Cornell.

Neal has hope that the team will be nationally ranked next year, and he looks forward to seeing what his team can accomplish with the incoming 2026 recruiting class.

The men will welcome two members of the class of 2026 to their team next fall, and the women will add three incoming first years to their roster.

Grayson Lambert is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College from Atlanta, double-majoring in Applied Mathematics and Economics. She covers tennis, men's ice hockey, and crew.