Bulldogs to Kick Off Spring Dual Match Competition in Scrimmage vs. Brown
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men's tennis team will return to action on Martin Luther King Jr. Day after a two month break, taking on Ivy League opponent Brown at home in the first scrimmage of 2017. As the Bulldogs gear up for the second half of their 2016-17 campaign, they face a multitude of questions: what will the lineup look like in the dual match format? Will the individuals who excelled in the fall be able to replicate that success outside of a tournament setting? Although such crucial questions cannot be resolved in a single match, Monday's scrimmage against Brown may begin to provide a hint at the answers. The ball is set to drop at 11:00 a.m. at Yale's Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.
As a conference rival, Brown is no stranger to the Bulldogs—in fact, Tuesday's match will mark the fourth time the Bears have clashed with the Elis in the past two years. With the two teams having split results in their last two meetings, Brown has consistently shown itself to be a dangerous squad and this year is no exception; the Bears' current roster has a strong veteran presence with six combined juniors and seniors, and boasts an impressive wealth of talent. Junior Peter Tarwid, in particular, has established himself as a force at the top of Brown's singles lineup and was named First Team All-Ivy last season; depending on Yale's lineup on Monday, Tarwid may face senior Tyler Lu or junior Ziqi Wang (who fell to him 6-1, 6-4 in their last meeting). Another two of Brown's current starters, Gregory Garcia and Mladen Mitak, will be looking for revenge this weekend after falling short in 2016 to Yale's Fedor Andrienko and Alex Hagermoser, respectively.
After standout singles performances in the fall, Yale's freshman trio – Ryan Cheng (10-3), Andrew Heller (12-4) and Dylan King (13-2) – will be expected to make significant contributions during the second half of the season; Monday's scrimmage against Ivy League opposition will no doubt put them to the test. Yale sophomore Dennis Wang also excelled in the fall with a 7-3 overall singles record, and may be looking to build on the success he found in the No. 5 singles position last season.
Although Monday's scrimmage will not count toward either team's official record, it will serve as an important benchmark for the rest of the spring season. With this in mind, the Elis will be motivated to return from their break at the top of their game and kick off a successful spring campaign.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity