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Bulldogs Impress at ITA Regionals

Fedor Andrienko (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Fedor Andrienko (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

All Three Doubles Teams Win; Cheng, Heller Record First Round Singles Victories

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Main draw action of the ITA Northeast Regional Championships began on Friday, with the region's elite competitors gathering in Philadelphia to vie for a championship and berth into November's USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Only four Bulldogs played singles on Friday, however, as three players – Dylan King, Tyler Lu, and Ziqi Wang – were enjoying a first round bye. Still, by the day's end, the Elis had made quite a strong statement across the board in both singles and doubles, with a 5-2 overall record.

Perhaps the most notable storyline to emerge from Friday's action was Yale's dominant performance in doubles. Fedor Andrienko and King finished first with a comprehensive 8-2 victory over Drexel's Lalou and Laleej, while veteran pairing Stefan Doehler and Alex Hagermoser secured an equally comfortable 8-4 win over Harvard's Solomon and Tao; both Yale teams are set to play seeded opponents in tomorrow's second round. Lu and Wang also advanced to the second round, although their narrow victory (8-7 over Marist's top team) was a nail-biter, and easily the closest doubles match of the day. On the whole, the Elis turned in their best doubles performance of the season on Friday, and will undoubtedly hope to make a run in the tournament's doubles draw.

Friday's singles matches were more competitive than the doubles matches, with all four Bulldogs playing in the first round facing tough opposition. Freshman Ryan Cheng led the way for Yale with an impressive 7-6(2), 6-0 win over Boston College's Kent Mukai; the freshman is playing with considerable confidence, and Friday's result improved his singles record on the year to 10-2. Cheng's fellow freshman Andrew Heller also posted a quality victory on Friday, although his match was much closer; coming up against Boston College's Hank Workman, Heller managed to maintain his composure through a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 match defined by swings of momentum. Like Cheng, Heller has compiled an outstanding singles record (12-3) this fall. Yale's Stefan Doehler also played a similarly dramatic three-set match, although the junior ultimately fell just short in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss to St. John's Andrei Crapcenco. Doehler's classmate Andrienko also hung tough in defeat, falling to Brown's Aaron Sandberg in straight sets.

After a busy day of main draw action on Friday, Saturday promises to feature even more high-quality tennis – the Bulldogs are scheduled to play at least five singles matches and three doubles matches. Main draw doubles action will start the day tomorrow as the Elis attempt to extend their unbeaten record in the tournament thus far; singles matches will follow shortly thereafter. Full draws can be found below.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity

ITA Northeast Regionals – Main Draw Doubles
ITA Northeast Regionals – Main Draw Singles