NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 70 Bulldogs will host the 2010 ECAC Division I Men’s Indoor Tennis Championship this weekend at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. As the No. 3 seed in the tournament, Yale will attempt to improve upon its 2-1 record when it opens the weekend with a 9 a.m. match against Princeton on Saturday.
Seven of eight Ivy League teams will compete in the nine-team tournament field. Defending Ivy League Champion Columbia will be the No. 1 seed, and Harvard will be the No. 2 seed. Cornell (4), St. John’s University (5), Princeton (6), Brown (7), Dartmouth (8), and Sacred Heart University (9) will round out the field.
“This weekend will give us a preview of the Ivy League season,” said Alex Dorato, the Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men’s Tennis. “All the Ivy's except Penn are participating in the ECAC Championships so we'll get to see our competition and where we stack up in comparison. If we play well, there is no team we can't beat, so I am very optimistic about the weekend.”
The Season to Date
Last weekend, Yale cruised to a 6-1 victory over Army on the road. Yale swept the three doubles matches and won five of six singles matches in straight sets.
The Bulldogs opened their season two weekends ago with a win and a loss. Yale pulled out a 4-3 win over No. 70 Radford Saturday before losing to No. 1 USC in the ITA Division I Men’s Kick-off Weekend.
Yale’s 2010 schedule includes matches against five teams that were ranked in the presesason ITA National Rankings. The Bulldogs will play No. 56 Radford, No. 61 Furman, No. 50 Columbia, and No. 63 Harvard. In addition, Yale will either play defending national champion No. 1 USC or No. 55 Vanderbilt.
Seven Returning Players
Yale returns seven players from a team that finished 4-3 in the Ivy League last season. Senior captain Connor Dawson, junior Calvin Bennett, sophomore Joel Samaha, and sophomore Erik Blumenkranz all were major contributors to a Bulldogs team that went 14-8 overall.
Three New Additions
The Bulldogs add three players who will not only be major contributors right away, but also should be stars for Yale. Freshmen Marc Powers and John Huang are blue chip recruits that come to Yale along with freshman Daniel Hoffman as part of the Bulldogs’ No. 4 recruiting class. Powers, Huang, and Hoffman all had great fall seasons for Yale.
2009 ITA National Indoor Championships
Yale played host to the 2009 ITA National Indoor Championships from Nov. 5 to Nov. 8 at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. The 2009 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the nation’s premier collegiate indoor tennis tournament, is the second of three national championship events for college tennis this season. The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships featured a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field.
The draws were made up of qualifiers from Wilson / ITA Regional Championships held across the country, the ITA National Small College Championships, top performers from the ITA All-American Championships, and at-large wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee.
As host of the tournament, the Bulldogs received two singles bids and one doubles bid. Freshmen Marc Powers and John Huang played singles for Yale in the tournament, and the doubles team of Samaha and Bennett represented the Bulldogs in the doubles field.
The Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center
The Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center serves as home for the Bulldogs. The fabulous eight-court facility complete with a spectacular viewing area and lobby has been serving as the home of Yale tennis since 2008.
The Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center was made possible by the generous leadership gifts from Sam Heyman '60 and the estate of the late Joseph Cullman III. The project includes a new building with four new courts that are attached to the existing four Cullman Courts. Additionally, the renovation includes team locker rooms, a team room and coaches' offices. The new spacious lobby has been named by Larry Leeds `50 in honor of his son Cary '79. The eight courts have been named to recognize great figures in Yale Tennis history.
Report Filed by Steven Horn ’10, Yale Sports Publicity