Yale Takes 7-2 Record into Annual "Battle at the Beach"
Bulldogs Travel to North Carolina to face No. 55 UNC Wilmington, Binghamton and No. 51 Central Florida
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team will make its spring break trek to the Tar Heel State this week to take part in the annual "Battle at the Beach". No. 55 UNC Wilmington will host Yale, Binghamton and No. 51 Central Florida at the Seahawks' home courts. Yale's first encounter will be against UNC Wilmington on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. After a day of rest on Thursday, Yale will square off on Friday against its fellow Northeast competitor, Binghamton, starting at 10:00 a.m. Following this match, the Elis will return to UNC Wilmington's courts one last time for a 10:00 a.m. Saturday clash against Central Florida.
Following victories at home this weekend against Fairleigh Dickinson, Marist and Stony Brook, Yale goes into the "Battle at the Beach" with six consecutive wins in tow. The Bulldogs' streak began in early February and they have not surrendered more than two points in any of these six wins. These past six victories have all come at home, however, and the Elis' lone win away from home this season came on a neutral court against Davidson back in January. The Bulldogs will try to extend their record at neutral sites to 3-0 when they take on Binghamton and Central Florida this week. An upset over UNC Wilmington would give Yale an even 1-1 record in away matches.
The Elis' performance in doubles will be pivotal to the outcome of their matches, particularly against the host Seahawks. UNC Wilmington features the No. 64 team in the nation of Pedrol Mol and Kaue Pereira. Freshman Tyler Lu owns an impressive 11-match winning streak in completed doubles matches, and he will aim to lead Yale's charge in North Carolina this week. His partner this past weekend was sophomore Martin Svenning. Senior Patrick Chase will also be looking to contribute to the Eli effort, as will senior captain Kyle Dawson, juniors Daniel Faierman and Zachary Krumholz and freshmen Alex Hagermoser and Photos Photiades. All of these players took part in doubles against one or more of Fairleigh Dickinson, Marist and Stony Brook. Yale will once again need a solid team effort for the tripleheader "Battle at the Beach".
Yale will also need to put its best foot forward in singles against its two ranked opponents and Binghamton. Lu, ranked No. 114 in the nation, leads Yale's singles lineup. He will not be the only nationally ranked player to take the court this week, however, as UNC Wilmington's roster features No. 53 Rafael Aita. Several Bulldogs will look to showcase their best at the beach this week, including Faierman, Photiades and Svenning. All three of these players went undefeated this past weekend through three matches. Photiades did so without the loss of a set.
In their first match on Wednesday, the Bulldogs will be looking to avenge their 7-0 loss to UNC Wilmington last year. The Seahawks enter the "Battle at the Beach" with a 6-6 season record. Binghamton travels down to the Tar Heel State with a 10-5 win-loss mark. The Elis defeated the Bearcats 5-2 last year. The Central Florida Knights, with a 9-3 season record thus far, are a new opponent for the Bulldogs.
Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity