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Busy Weekend at Home in Store for No. 68 Yale

Alex Hagermoser. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Alex Hagermoser. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Elis Host St. John's, Fordham and Bryant

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – On the heels of a productive spring break trip to Wilmington, N.C., the Yale men's tennis team will compete at its home venue this weekend for its final three non-Ivy matches.  The tripleheader gives No. 68 Yale a chance to improve on its 9-3 season record.  The weekend's action begins at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday against St. John's.  On Sunday, the Elis will take on Fordham at 12:00 p.m., with a match against Bryant to follow at approximately 4:00 p.m. 

Yale has won eight of its last nine matches.  The squad's only loss since early February came at the "Battle at the Beach" against No. 47 UNC Wilmington.  Despite this setback in the Tar Heel State, the Bulldogs will be full of confidence heading into this weekend's slate of matches, as they regrouped after the loss to UNC Wilmington to upend Binghamton and then finished off their week at the beach with a thrilling upset over No. 60 Central Florida.  A trio of victories this weekend would give Yale a 9-1 record at home before entering Ivy League play. 

The Bulldogs have claimed the doubles point in their last eight matches.  A significant part of this success has been the consistently strong performance of Yale's top duo of freshman Tyler Lu and sophomore Martin Svenning.  Lu has won 13 of the last 14 completed doubles matches he has contested.  Lu and Svenning will likely face a stern test in the match against St. John's, as the Red Storm's lineup features R.J. Del Nunzio and Erick Reyes, who together comprise the No. 74 doubles team in the country.  At No. 2 doubles, the Bulldogs continue to rely on their senior veterans, Patrick Chase and captain Kyle Dawson.  Finally, Yale's No. 3 team of junior Daniel Faierman and freshman Alex Hagermoser distinguished itself last week as the only Bulldog tandem to complete all three of its matches and win them.  Yale has historically fielded a strong doubles lineup, and its current lineup looks to be playing its best tennis at a critical juncture in the season. 

In singles, Lu moved up 16 spots from last week to No. 98 in the national rankings.  He will be the highest-ranked player on court this weekend.  Lu was also the only Eli who went undefeated in singles at the "Battle at the Beach".  Backing up Lu's efforts will be five other members of the team, including Dawson, Faierman, Svenning and freshman Photos Photiades.  All of Yale's players will be aiming to build momentum heading into the Ivy League season in April.

While Bryant and Fordham are unfamiliar opponents for Yale, the Bulldogs are well acquainted with St. John's.  Last year, the Elis rode five singles matches to a 5-2 victory over the Red Storm.  This season, St. John's comes into the encounter with a solid 9-5 overall record and an even 3-3 record in away matches.  Fordham, meanwhile, will look to end its current three-match losing slide.  And finally, Bryant has a 10-9 overall record but is 2-5 in away matches. 

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity