Bulldogs to Host William & Mary on Friday, Buffalo on Saturday in First Dual Matches of 2017
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After submitting an impressive performance in Monday's scrimmage against Brown, the Yale men's tennis team is set to host its first dual matches of the season this weekend against two familiar opponents. The Elis, who enter the spring season with a healthy lineup and aspirations for the Ivy League title, will face William & Mary on Friday, followed by a match against Buffalo on Saturday. This weekend presents Yale with an opportunity for redemption, as the Bulldogs narrowly fell to both teams 4-3 last season. Both matches will take place at Yale's Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center and begin at 1:00 p.m.
William & Mary, a team that belongs to the Colonial Athletic Association but regularly competes against other schools in the Northeast region, is no stranger to the Bulldogs; Friday's match will mark the fourth time the Tribe have clashed with the Elis in the past five years. Last season's meeting, which the Tribe narrowly won, saw Yale's Alex Hagermoser and Ziqi Wang star for the team in Tyler Lu's absence, with both players winning three-set singles matches at the No. 2 and No. 1 singles positions, respectively. Senior Photos Photiades also started for the Bulldogs and played a competitive match against William & Mary's Lars de Boer. While the senior captain Lu will be looking to prove the impact of his absence on last year's meeting, the other three players will be hoping to replicate the success they found in this fixture a year ago. Star freshmen Ryan Cheng, Andrew Heller and Dylan King will also pose a new threat to the Tribe, as all three players look strong enough to fill crucial roles in the Elis' lineup this season.
As Yale's second opponent of the weekend, Buffalo will arrive in New Haven hoping to notch a second straight victory over the Bulldogs. In last season's meeting between the two sides, Fedor Andrienko and Dennis Wang led the way for Yale, cruising to a pair of straight-set victories in the No. 6 and No. 5 singles positions, respectively. Sophomore Nathan Brown also played well in a tough 6-2, 6-4 loss to Buffalo's Sergio Arevalillo at No. 4 singles. If all three players can play a similarly impactful role in this Saturday's clash, the Elis will stand a good chance to redeem last year's narrow 4-3 defeat.
The early part of the spring season may also present new opportunities for sophomore Charlie Adams and senior James Ratchford to contribute and potentially make their mark. As the depth of Yale's lineup will be key for the Bulldogs to achieve success during the Ivy League season in March, these preliminary dual matches in January and February will provide an important test of quality.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity