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Yale Perfect in Victory Over St. John's

Tyler Lu. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Tyler Lu. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Go Unbeaten in Singles, Notch 4-0 Victory Over St. John's at ECAC Championships 

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale men's tennis team finished up a busy weekend in Princeton on Sunday morning, taking on St. John's in the backdraw of this year's Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships. Feeling the absence of No. 2 singles player Ziqi Wang and coming off two hard-fought losses to Cornell and Harvard, the Elis showed impressive mental strength to bounce back and submit their most comprehensive performances to date. As one of the top teams in the Northeast Region, St. John's came into Sunday's match with high confidence given their success in this fixture last season, which saw the Red Storm grind out a 4-3 victory. The Bulldogs, however, surprised their opponents from the outset with an improved lineup bolstered by three starting freshmen (Ryan Cheng, Andrew Heller and Dylan King), establishing an early lead and then running away with the match in a dominant 4-0 performance. 

Sunday's clash only featured singles action, with doubles play not required to settle the outcome. Freshman Dylan King finished first for the Elis, facing little resistance in a 6-1, 6-2 rout of St. John's Andrei Crapcenco. Looking back on the weekend, King succeeded in filling in for Ziqi Wang at the No. 2 singles spot, posting a 2-1 record and improving his overall singles mark on the season to an impressive 19-4. Junior Stefan Doehler also played well on Sunday, topping St. John's Luka Sucevic 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 singles; as a starter in both singles and doubles, Doehler looks to assume a crucial role for the Elis this season, and his recent success bodes well for the upcoming Ivy League season.

Yale's No. 6 singles player Dennis Wang widened the Bulldogs' lead to 3-0 soon after Doehler finished, with the sophomore holding on for a 6-1, 7-5 win over St. John's Adolfo Blanco Paris. Wang has excelled in singles this season, accumulating a 9-4 overall record and making a strong case to start at the No. 6 position going forward. As he has now done several times this spring, senior captain Tyler Lu closed out the match for the Elis, downing St. John's top player Robert Livi in an impressive 7-5, 6-1 victory. This result not only extended Lu's win streak to five singles matches, but also marked his first victory over a nationally ranked player this season (Livi currently ranks No. 120 in the country). 

Sunday's victory represents a huge boost for the Bulldogs, and improves their 2017 dual match record to 5-3. Yale will next take the court on Feb. 24 for a home match against Old Dominion.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity
 

FULL MATCH RESULTS -- Yale 4, St. John's 0 

 Position

 Yale University

 St. John's University

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 Tyler Lu

 #120 Robert Livi

 Yale University

 7-5,6-1

 #2 Singles

 Dylan King

 Andrei Crapcenko

 Yale University

 6-1,6-2

 #3 Singles

 Stefan Doehler

 Luka Sucevic

 Yale University

 6-4,6-2

 #4 Singles

 Ryan Cheng

 Alan Aguilera Nunez

 Unfinished

 

 #5 Singles

 Andrew Heller

 Ognjen Trejgut

 Unfinished

 

 #6 Singles

 Dennis Wang

 Adolfo Blanco Paris

 Yale University

 6-1,7-5