Upcoming Week Includes “Battle at the Beach”

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Daniel Hoffman. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Travel to North Carolina, then Host No. 64 St. John's and Sacred Heart

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A busy end to spring break for the Yale men's tennis team takes the Bulldogs to North Carolina for matches in the "Battle at the Beach" on Wednesday and Friday, then back to New Haven for a match with No. 64 St. John's on Sunday and Sacred Heart on Tuesday.

Yale (6-5, 0-0 Ivy League) has won four of its last five. Sophomore Daniel Hoffman has won eight straight singles matches, primarily at No. 3. Junior Erik Blumenkranz has won seven straight matches in doubles play, including four as a team with Hoffman at No. 2.

No. 59 UNC-Wilmington (10-2, 0-0 CAA) has one win over a top-50 team to its credit, 4-0 over South Florida last week. The Seahawks have won six in a row heading into the "Battle at the Beach", and they are just returning from a swing through Florida that included wins at South Florida and Central Florida. Michael Pereira, playing at No. 1 and No. 2, has won eight matches in a row. The Seahawks have won the doubles point in each of their past six matches.

Tobias Fanselow has won 13 in a row at the No. 1 spot for Old Dominion (13-3, 0-1 CAA), which plays South Alabama Tuesday before taking on the Bulldogs. Fanselow and the other top three singles players -- Benjamin Chornette at No. 2, Krzysztof Muzalewski at No. 3 and Albert Ochagavia at No. 4 -- are a combined 52-12 in singles match play this season.

St. John's (7-4, 0-1 Big East), which plays Penn and George Washington before facing the Bulldogs, beat Yale 5-2 earlier this season at the ECAC Team Championships. The Red Storm won the doubles point and the bottom four singles matches. The Red Storm also played a pair of Yale's Ivy League rivals in that tournament, beating Dartmouth 5-2 but losing to Princeton 6-1.

St. John's has subsequently played both of those teams again and the results from the earlier match were reversed each time: a win at Princeton and a loss to Dartmouth. Yale will try to turn its fortunes against the Red Storm around as well on Sunday at Cullman-Heyman, where the Bulldogs have won six of their last seven matches.

The match with St. John's starts a stretch of four straight home matches, including Tuesday's meeting with local rival Sacred Heart (4-5, 0-2 NEC). The Pioneers play at Mt. St. Mary's and Villanova before visiting the Bulldogs. They have won four of their last six matches, with their two losses coming by 4-3 scores.

After next Tuesday Yale has a weekend off before starting Ivy League play Apr. 1 vs. Penn.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity