Bulldogs Fall To No. 49 NC State 4-3 In Season Opener

Feb. 4, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Yale men's tennis team dropped its opening match of the season today to No. 49 NC State at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Three Bulldogs picked up wins in singles, but it was not enough to stop the Wolf Pack, who improved to 6-0 on the season with the 4-3 victory.

The Bulldogs' No. 1 doubles team of Brandon Wai and Josh Lederman fell to Val Banada and Will Shaw, 8-2, and Michael Caldwell and Jeff Dawson were set back by William Noblett and Ben Zink in the No. 3 slot, losing 8-5. Rowan Reynolds and Rory Green, playing at No. 2, handed NC State's Nick Cavaday and Chris Welte their first doubles loss of the season, winning a hard-fought match, 9-7.

"Rowan Reynolds played an amazing doubles slot at No. 2," Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis Alex Dorato said. "He hadn't competed in three matches. I really wasn't expecting too much from him, and he played unbelievable."

Despite Reynolds' efforts, however, the Bulldogs headed into singles play trailing 1-0, and quickly fell behind 2-0 as Banada defeated Milosz Gudzowski 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 2 slot. Caldwell defeated Welte in straight sets at No. 4, 6-4, 6-4, to pick up Yale's first point of the season, but Shaw then beat Reynolds 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 to give NC State a 3-1 lead.

The Elis then mounted a comeback, led by Brandon Wai, currently ranked No. 33 in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and freshman Jeff Dawson. Wai took down Cavaday in straight sets in the No. 1 slot, 7-6, 7-6, to make the score 3-2. Dawson, after dropping his first set 6-1 to Noblitt, stormed back to take the final two sets, 7-5, 7-5, to tie the score at 3-3.

"We needed [Dawson's] match to stay in it at that point," Dorato said. "That was huge."

The Bulldogs, however, came up just a bit short, as freshman Jay Weinacker downed Rory Green, 6-2, 6-1, to win the match for the Wolf Pack.

Yale continues its southern road trip tomorrow, when they take on No. 30 North Carolina in Chapel Hill at 1 p.m. Dorato stated that today's well-played matches bode well for tomorrow's contest against another top-tier tennis school.

"Everyone competed well today," he said. "It was our first match of the season, and we almost beat a top-50 team playing less than our best."

Results:

Singles
No. 1 Brandon Wai (Y) def. Nick Cavaday (NCST), 7-6, 7-6
No. 2 Val Banada (NCST) def. Milosz Gudzowski (Y), 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 Jeff Dawson (Y) def. William Noblitt (NCST), 1-6, 7-5, 7-5
No. 4 Michael Caldwell (Y) def. Chris Welte (NCST), 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 Will Shaw (NCST) def. Rowan Reynolds (Y), 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 Jay Weinacker (NCST) def. Rory Green (Y), 6-2, 6-1

Doubles
No. 1 Banada/Shaw (NCST) def. Josh Lederman/Wai (Y), 8-2
No. 2 Green/Reynolds (Y) def. Cavaday/Welte (NCST), 9-7
No. 3 Noblitt/Ben Zink (NCST) def. Caldwell/Dawson (Y), 8-5

Report filed by David Sherfinski '08, Yale Sports Publicity

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