9-4 Bulldogs to Face UC Irvine on Friday, Gonzaga on Saturday
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After winning their seventh straight match this past Sunday, the Yale men's tennis team will travel to California this weekend to take on Gonzaga (Saturday) and UC Irvine (Friday). Although the Bulldogs made a similar trip to California over spring break last year, Gonzaga and UC Irvine represent new opponents with an entirely different set of challenges. Gonzaga boasts a 6-3 overall record and has earned five of its six wins by a score of 7-0, while UC Irvine has posted a 6-1 record on its home courts this spring.
Yale's first opponent of the weekend, UC Irvine, is currently riding a four-match win streak. Leading the way at No. 1 singles for UCI has been junior Luis Lopez, who has won his last six matches in convincing fashion. Depending on Yale's lineup, either Andrew Heller or Dylan King will face Lopez; the other will take on UCI's No. 2 player Sasha Krasnov. Another storyline to watch will be senior duo Fedor Andrienko and Stefan Doehler's matchup against UCI's Mason Hansen and Luca Marquard at No. 1 doubles; given the Yale pairing's recent run of success (7-1 in their last eight matches), Andrienko and Doehler will be counted on to help earn the crucial doubles point. Another Yale duo that has been playing well – No. 3 team Heller and Ziqi Wang – will also be called upon to beat likely opponents Lopez and Daniel Gealer.
Yale's opponent on Saturday will be Gonzaga, who lost its last three matches after starting the season a perfect 6-0. One of Gonzaga's top contributors this spring has been Vincent Rettke, who boasts a 5-1 record in his last six matches at the No. 3 and 4 positions; he will likely meet his match in Yale's Ziqi Wang, however, who has lost just once in his last five outings. Gonzaga's Simon Homedes-Dualde has also been strong at the No. 6 position, where he will likely face Yale's Alan Sou on Saturday. Playing his first spring of collegiate tennis, Sou has impressed by winning four of five singles matches; if he can earn a pair of victories this weekend, he will further strengthen his case for a starting singles spot come the Ivy League season in April.
Yale's match on Friday is set to start at 9:00 a.m. PT and will take place on UC Irvine's home courts; Saturday's match will be held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity