February 7, 2013

Yale Looks to Extend Perfect Start to Season in Tennessee

Bulldogs Hit the Road for the First Time in Four Months   

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team made a magnificent start to its spring season two weeks ago, and will look to carry its momentum down to Tennessee for a pair of matches this upcoming weekend.  On Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CST, the Elis will face off against Alabama-Birmingham.  In a quick turnaround, they will then take on No. 43 Middle Tennessee State on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. CST.  Both matches will be take place at the Nashboro Village Athletic Club in Nashville, Tenn.

Saturday will mark the first time the Bulldogs have played away from home since late September, when they competed at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Collegiate Invitational in Flushing, N.Y.  This is unlikely to faze the Elis, however, as they are riding a three-match winning streak at the moment, having defeated a trio of local Connecticut schools in their first weekend of competition, winning 30 out of 31 singles and doubles matches in the process. 

The Bulldogs are likely to face a stern test of their strong doubles tradition against both Middle Tennessee State and Alabama-Birmingham, the latter having taken the doubles point against No. 45 Alabama on Wednesday.  Among the three schools, however, Yale is the only one with a ranked doubles team, the No. 19 duo of captain Daniel Hoffman and Marc Powers.  These experienced seniors will look to get the Elis off to a strong start, and will receive crucial support from Yale's No. 2 tandem of junior Patrick Chase and senior John Huang.  Yale is undefeated in all doubles matches so far this season.  

Yale will also look to maintain its high level in singles play.  Two players—senior Zachary Dean and sophomore Matt Saiontz—have yet to drop a single game.  Freshman Jason Brown has begun the spring much like he started the fall by winning his first three matches, all in straight sets.  Meanwhile, Hoffman, Huang and Powers wasted no time working themselves into form, as they all eased to straightforward triumphs to start the season.  Rounding out the Bulldogs with singles wins to their names so far in the spring are Chase, sophomores Daniel Faierman and Zachary Krumholz, junior Tommy Ratchford and freshman Martin Svenning.

The Elis narrowly defeated Middle Tennessee State 4-3 two seasons ago in 2011, with Hoffman and Powers both making contributions to that victory.   

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

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