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Yale Set for ITA Kick-Off Weekend

Ziqi Wang. Photo by Steve Musco.
Ziqi Wang. Photo by Steve Musco.

Bulldogs to Travel to Ohio State, Compete in Annual Event

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After earning a pair of victories over Army and Santa Clara this past Saturday, the Yale men's tennis team will travel to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend to compete in the annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off. The Elis are scheduled to play Ohio State on Saturday, followed by one of the two other schools in their flight (either North Florida or Tulsa) on Sunday. Given Ohio State's current ITA ranking of No. 2 in the nation, Saturday's match arguably represents Yale's toughest challenge of the season.

Similar to Yale, Ohio State has momentum on its side after sweeping Xavier 7-0 and Cleveland State 4-0 this past weekend. The Buckeyes have a number of stars across the board, with senior Mikael Torpegaard leading the way at No. 1 singles; Yale's Andrew Heller will need to play well if he aims to best the No. 5-ranked player on Saturday. The Buckeyes' No. 2 player, JJ Wolf, is also one of the country's elite singles players (currently ranked No. 60 nationally) and will face Yale senior Ziqi Wang when the two teams meet.

As for the lower half of Yale's singles lineup, senior Fedor Andrienko will be looking to continue his positive play after notching three consecutive singles wins this past weekend; Ryan Cheng also began his spring season well by going 2-1 overall at the No. 4 and 5 singles spots. Senior captain Stefan Doehler, who teams up with Andrienko at No. 1 doubles, will also want to stay in good form after securing a three-set win over Santa Clara's Jesus Barajas in his most recent singles match. Given the Bulldogs' strength in doubles, No. 2 pairing Cheng and Dylan King will also expect to make an impact against Ohio State's JJ Wolf and Joseph Thomas; with an impressive 11-3 record together, Cheng and King have shown great potential as a team so far this season. 

As the second event of the dual match season, the ITA Kick-Off presents another opportunity for the Elis to develop as a unit and test various lineup combinations in singles and doubles. Yale's first match of the weekend against Ohio State will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity