Yale Athletics

Yale’s tennis teams took on Columbia University and Cornell University this weekend, with the men’s team celebrating Senior Day on Sunday.

The 68th-ranked Yale men’s tennis team (11–9, 2–2 Ivy) hosted eighth-ranked Columbia (18–3, 4–1) on Saturday and 33rd-ranked Cornell (16–6, 3–2) on Sunday in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. Meanwhile, the 49th-ranked Yale women’s tennis team (15-7, 3–2) took a trip to New York, where they took on the 48th-ranked Lions (15–5, 3–2) in Manhattan on Saturday and the Big Red (7–13, 0–5) in Ithaca on Sunday.

The women’s team was defeated by Columbia in a closely contested matchup, falling 3–4. They bounced back on Sunday with a massive win over Cornell, winning 4–1.

The women’s team traveled to Columbia on Saturday to take on the Lions, who were just one spot higher in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. They fell into a hole after being swept in the doubles matches but fought hard to come back, racking up three singles victories. In the end, the Bulldogs were unable to complete the comeback, falling to the Lions 3–4. Orly Ogilvy ’27, Rebecca Lynn ’26, and Ann Wright Guerry ’26 led the way as singles winners. Ogilvy defeated Columbia’s Keita 4–6, 7–5, 2–0 (retired), Lynn beat Columbia’s Tewolde 6–4, 7–5 and Guerry topped Columbia’s Wang 6–3, 6–3. 

On Sunday, the women’s team traveled to Cornell to take on the Big Red in their last matchup of the regular season. They found redemption, winning by a large margin, 4–1. After losing the doubles point, the Bulldogs responded in a big way, going undefeated in singles, with four victories and leading two matches before resulting in a DNF. 

Ogilvy racked up her second victory of the weekend, defeating Cornell’s Lauren Stein in the number one spot (3–6, 6–3, 6–2). Mirabelle Brettkelly ’25 beat Cornell’s Michaelle Ryndin in two sets (7–6, 6–2). Shyla Aggarwal ’27 led Cornell’s Emma Baker (2–6, 6–3, 1–0) before the match was called. Lynn flat-out dominated Cornell’s Jenny Wong in straight sets (6–1, 6–2). Guerry was also leading Cornell’s Victoria Zhao (6–3, 4–6, 1–0) before the match was called. Jamie Kim ’25 closed out the scoring, conquering Cornell’s Alexandra Savu again in straight sets (6–0, 6–3).

Yale women’s tennis wraps up the regular season with an overall record of 16–8 and a conference record of 4-3. The Bulldogs will sit tight until next week, when the 2024 NCAA DI women’s tennis championship selection show airs on NCAA.com on Monday, April 29, at 6 p.m. ET.

The men’s team had a tough weekend at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, being defeated by both Columbia and Cornell, losing 1–6 and 3–4, respectively.

Columbia, ranked No. 8 in the nation, proved to be a tough matchup on Saturday. In doubles, Aidan Reilly ’25 and Theo Dean ’24 came out on top over Columbia’s Theo Winegar and Michael Zheng (7-5). Winegar and Zheng were ranked 13 in the nation for doubles, but the dynamic duo of Dean and Reilly was simply too much for them. In singles, Dean was the lone winner, defeating Columbia’s Alex Kotzen 6–2, 7–5. 

On Sunday, the Bulldogs celebrated their Senior Day while hosting Cornell. The lone senior, Dean, led the way for the ’Dogs. Paired with Reilly, the two continued their streak, coming out on top over Cornell’s Adit Sinha and Nathan Mao 6–4. However, Cornell won the doubles point after winning the last two matches.

In singles, Cornell’s Radue Papoe defeated Vignesh Gogineni in the No. 1 spot (6–2, 6–2). Then, Yale rattled off three straight victories over Cornell, with Theo Dean winning 6–7, 6– 3, (1–0), and Eric Li ’26 (6–0, 6–3) and Jim Ji ’27 (7–6, 6–4) following suit. Unfortunately, Reilly (6–3, 6–3) and Luke Neal ’25 (7–6, 6–3) were unable to close out their matches, resulting in a 3–4 defeat for the team. This loss dropped the Bulldog’s overall record to .500 on the year (11–11) and 2–4 in the conference.

While Yale men’s tennis could not complete the comeback on Sunday, their loss could not overshadow the team’s Senior Day celebration. Theo Dean played his last match at home this Sunday and came out on top in both.

Dean, hailing from Livermore, Cali., came into Yale ranked No. 41 in the nation in the 18-and-under division by the United States Tennis Association. After his first season was canceled due to the pandemic, Dean burst onto the Ivy League tennis scene, racking up numerous accolades. He was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Ivy in singles and Second Team All-Ivy in doubles alongside Aidan Reilly. In his second season, Dean was named Team Captain, First Team All-Ivy in singles, and qualified for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Super Regionals in the fall. This season, he was named Team Captain for the second time and will likely accumulate many more honors and recognition for his outstanding play throughout the 2023-24 season.

Dean plans to use his extra season of eligibility granted to him by the NCAA due to the pandemic to pursue his master’s degree at Cal Berkeley while continuing to play tennis.

When asked about Dean’s impact on the team, Neal said, “Theo is an amazing teammate on and off of the court. He pushes everyone around him to be the best version of themselves, and is always willing to help a teammate in need out. He will continue to thrive and make a massive impact next year at Cal Berkeley, and we will definitely miss having him around.”

Doubles partner of Dean, Aidan Reilly, echoed Neal’s sentiment.

“His skill on the court and his leadership as a two-year captain have been huge for us, but his friendship and being such a role-model are the biggest reasons we’ll miss him next year,” Reilly said. “I’ve had the privilege to be his doubles partner for three years, and I can say with certainty that the success we’ve had is not only for his play, but for constantly challenging me to elevate my game and trust myself.”

Dean and the Elis look to close out the regular season on a positive note when they travel to Brown next Saturday, April 27.