State Championships to Bring Connecticut’s Best to Yale

Daniel Hoffman. (Photo by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity)
Daniel Hoffman. (Photo by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Aim to Replicate Last Year's Success against Connecticut Rivals

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Just three days after the completion of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional tournament, the Yale men's tennis team will host players from around the state from Friday to Sunday for the Connecticut State Championships.  The event, which will take place at Yale's Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, will feature players from Fairfield, Hartford, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, the University of Connecticut and Yale, all of whom will be battling for the singles and doubles titles.  It will be the final home event of the Elis' fall season.

Many of the Bulldogs enter the Connecticut State Championships on the heels of a long and grueling weekend at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center for the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championships.  Though the Elis will have had little time to recover from this demanding tournament, they enjoy a home court advantage for the Connecticut State Championships, and will be sure to use it to maximum effect against the competition this upcoming weekend. 

Three of Yale's seniors enjoyed a very fruitful weekend at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals, and are sure to be confident when they face off against their Connecticut rivals.  Senior captain Daniel Hoffman and classmate Marc Powers, ranked No. 54 in the nation as a team, will begin their bid for the Connecticut State Championships doubles title just three days after taking part in the USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals doubles final.  The senior duo had a stellar tournament that saw them upset the No. 1 seeded pair in the semifinals.  Senior John Huang advanced to the semifinals in singles, where he lost to No. 1 seeded Matija Pecotic of Princeton in a scintillating encounter.

The quick turnaround may be beneficial for freshman Jason Brown, who will be eager to get back on track after finally being derailed in his second-round match at the Regional tournament.  The loss ended an incredible 12-match winning streak, and Brown would like nothing more than to start another streak.  Freshman Martin Svenning will also be looking forward to showcasing his skills against Connecticut's finest talent.  The two freshmen will be in the singles draw and will also be teaming up for the doubles competition. 

Though Hoffman and Powers dominated the doubles scene for the Elis at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals, Huang and junior Patrick Chase also advanced deep into the draw and will be looking to challenge Connecticut's best doubles teams this upcoming weekend.  Joining Yale's top two doubles teams and the freshman duo will be the pairing of senior Zachary Dean and junior Tommy Ratchford and the sophomore tandem of Faierman and Zachary Krumholz

Junior Kyle Dawson and sophomore Matt Saiontz will both be unable to take part in the Connecticut State Championships due to injuries.  In addition, Huang and Powers will only be competing in the doubles competition with Chase and Hoffman, respectively.        

The 2011 Connecticut State Championships was a very successful event for the Bulldogs.  All four semifinalists in the singles draw were Bulldogs.  Dawson defeated Erik Blumenkranz '12 to earn a meeting with Hoffman, who bested Krumholz in the other semifinal.  Hoffman took the title with a three-set victory over Dawson.  One of the doubles semifinals was also an all-Yale affair, with Huang and Joel Samaha '12 overcoming Dawson and Dean.  Huang and Samaha went on to defeat a team from Fairfield in the final. 

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity