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Big Weekend Looms for Bulldogs

Photos Photiades. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Photos Photiades. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Takes on No. 52 Cornell, then No. 17 Columbia

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Conference action continues for the Yale men's tennis team this coming weekend, as the squad returns home for a doubleheader of Ancient Eight matchups.  The Bulldogs will face two stern challenges in No. 52 Cornell and No. 17 Columbia.  The Elis square off against the Big Red starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and then take on the Lions at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. 

The Bulldogs had mixed results to start their Ivy League season.  After dropping their first match against No. 59 Princeton, they rebounded nicely to edge Penn in a 4-2 decision.  Yale currently sits in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Ivy League standings, along with No. 31 Harvard and No. 40 Dartmouth. 

In their last outing against Penn, the Elis produced some clutch play in doubles, a feat that will surely give them confidence against their higher-ranked opponents.  Yale's No. 1 duo of freshman Tyler Lu and sophomore Martin Svenning stayed strong for an 8-7 win in the match against Penn, and the No. 3 tandem of junior Daniel Faierman and freshman Alex Hagermoser did likewise.  In addition, the veteran Yale team of senior Patrick Chase and captain Kyle Dawson picked up an 8-5 victory in the match against Princeton.  These six players will all need to be at their best, as both opponents this weekend are also proficient in doubles competition.  Cornell's squad features the No. 49 duo in the country of Jason Luu and Quoc-Daniel Nguyen, while Columbia boasts the tandem of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur, ranked No. 7 in the nation.   

The Bulldogs will also aim to be up to the task in singles.  Lu has compiled a 14-3 record in singles this season, and he will look to produce the form that has led him to his 14 wins.  Columbia's top player, Winston Lin, is ranked No. 12 in the nation.  Faierman and Svenning are both coming off victories in the match against Penn.  At the No. 6 position, junior Zachary Krumholz notched a win against his Princeton opponent this past weekend.  Dawson, at the No. 4 spot, and freshman Photos Photiades, playing at No. 5, round out the Bulldog lineup. 

Matches against Cornell and Columbia have been among the most entertaining over the past couple of Ivy League seasons.  Last year, Yale scored an impressive 4-3 comeback victory over Cornell when Zachary Dean '13 clinched by winning a third-set tiebreaker after saving two match points.  Two years ago, during the 2012 Ivy League season, Yale mounted a comeback to defeat then-No. 37 Columbia in dramatic fashion.

Cornell currently finds itself at the bottom of the 2014 Ancient Eight standings, having lost its first three Ivy matches this season.  The Big Red carries a 10-7 overall season record.  Columbia, meanwhile, is ranked No. 1 in the standings, having gone undefeated through three conference matches so far.  Columbia has won its last 14 matches and boasts a 16-1 season record overall.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity