NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Erik Blumenkranz, a rising senior from Portola Valley, Calif., was elected captain for the Yale men's tennis team for the 2011-12 season by his teammates. Blumenkranz also earned the Stuart D. Ludlum, Jr. '62 Memorial Award, an award given out by the team, for the player who exhibits the qualities of enthusiasm, perseverance, and team spirit. Blumenkranz will succeed Calvin Bennett as captain next year.
A two-year ITA Scholar Athlete (the 2010-11 awards have not yet been released), Blumenkranz has been a regular in Yale's lineup all three years. As a freshman, Blumenkranz played mostly at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, posting a 17-19 record for the Bulldogs. As a sophomore, Blumenkranz posted a 3-3 Ivy record and 16-13 record overall; the highlight of his season was reaching the finals of the Connecticut State tournament in singles.
This season, Blumenkranz played mostly No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles with Joel Samaha. The duo went 3-4 in the Ivy League and posted a winning streak of six matches earlier in the season.
Next year, Yale will return five of six starters, including sophomores Marc Powers, John Huang, and Daniel Hoffman, who have consistently played No. 1 - No. 3. All three were honored with All-Ivy selections, with Powers earning First Team All-Ivy in singles and doubles, Huang earning Second Team All-Ivy in singles, and Hoffman earning Second Team All-Ivy in singles and First Team All-Ivy in doubles. Also returning next year is Samaha at No. 5.
The Bulldogs also honored Bennett with the James A. Hutchingson '96 Award, which is awarded to that member of the varsity team, who during the year by sportsmanship and co-operative spirit, has done the most for tennis at Yale. Hoffman took home the George A. Phelps '95 Memorial Award, which is awarded to the member of the tennis team who has shown the greatest improvement during the year.
Report by Courtney Kaplan '13, Yale Sports Publicity