Yale Prepares to Host St. John’s

Andrew Heller. Photo by Steve Musco.
Andrew Heller. Photo by Steve Musco.

Yale (9-6, 5-1 Home) to Host St. John's (11-4, 2-2 Away) in Final Match Before Ivy League Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In its final match before the start of the Ivy League season in April, the Yale men's tennis team will face St. John's at home this Saturday. Although the Bulldogs have excelled at home this spring by winning five of six matches, the Red Storm are a formidable opponent with an 11-4 overall record, which includes victories over Marquette and Monmouth last weekend. The two teams are also quite familiar with each other after meeting twice last year, with Yale winning both matches by a combined score of 8-1. Still, if the Elis want to replicate the success they found against St. John's last season, they will need to play some of their best tennis.

In the most recent meeting between these two sides, Yale's Dylan King played a key role in victory, downing St. John's Andrei Crapcenko at No. 3 singles. As Crapcenko has played the same position this year, he will likely face either Yale's Stefan Doehler or Ziqi Wang, both of whom have been playing exceptionally well in recent matches. Doehler, in particular, has been on fire with a 6-1 record in his last seven singles matches, as well as a six-match win streak in doubles alongside partner Fedor Andrienko. Andrienko and Doehler will face a tough challenge at No. 1 doubles on Saturday, however, as St. John's Luka Sucevic and Alan Aguilera Nunez have become one of the strongest duos in the Northeast Region this spring.

Towards the lower end of the singles lineup, Yale first year Alan Sou will likely face St. John's Igor Maslov at the No. 5 spot; the Bulldog is looking to build on a solid 3-3 start to the dual match season. Junior Nathan Brown may also face a tough opponent at No. 6 singles, as St. John's Ognjen Trejgut has lost just one of nine singles matches this spring. Yale's Andrew Heller will face an equally tough challenge in Aguilera Nunez at the No. 2 position, where the St. John's junior has compiled an impressive 11-2 record this spring. In facing Aguilera Nunez, Heller will be looking to extend a positive start to the season in which he has contributed in both singles and doubles.

Although St. John's often represents one of the toughest challenges on Yale's schedule, the Elis will be confident in their ability to secure a third straight victory over the Red Storm and build significant momentum headed into the Ivy League season. Saturday's match is scheduled to kick off at 4:00 p.m. on Yale's home courts; depending on weather conditions, matches may be held indoors at Yale's Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity