Yale (8-3) to Face Marist and Stony Brook on Saturday, Fairfield on Sunday in 2017 Yale Invitational
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Following a decisive win over Brown in last weekend's Ivy League season opener, the Yale men's tennis team is now set to host three familiar regional opponents – Fairfield, Marist and Stony Brook – in this upcoming weekend's Yale Invitational. The Bulldogs, who are currently riding a four-match win streak and have gone unbeaten in five matches at home this season, have established themselves as one of the teams to beat in the Northeast Region; this weekend's event will undoubtedly put their lineup to the test. Although just one of the Elis' three upcoming opponents boasts a winning record (Marist, 4-1), the home side will be wary of complacency, as all three teams took at least a point off the Bulldogs in these fixtures a year ago. Additionally, three of Yale's current players – freshmen Ryan Cheng, Andrew Heller and Dylan King – will be competing in the Invitational for the first time.
Stony Brook will be Yale's first opponent on Saturday in a match that will mark nearly a full decade of annual matches between the two sides. Although the Bulldogs have posted an undefeated record against the Seawolves extending back many years, Stony Brook has played just four matches this year and poses something of a question mark with a 2-2 record. Seniors Alex Hagermoser, Tyler Lu and Photos Photiades, who have found success against Stony Brook throughout their collegiate careers, will likely feature for the Elis once again. Lu in particular has heated up of late, winning his last eight matches over tough competition and recently earning an ITA national singles ranking of No. 65; he would face Stony Brook star Raphael Termat at the No. 1 spot.
Yale's second opponent of the weekend, Marist, is also a familiar foe. As a regional rival, Marist has played Yale in the Invitational every season dating back to 2010. The Bulldogs have largely come out on top in these matchups, with a 6-1 overall record; the Red Foxes come into this year's clash riding a three-match win streak, however, and look more determined than ever to flip the script. In last season's fiercely contested matchup (a 7-2 victory for Yale), Yale's Dennis Wang and Ziqi Wang led the Elis to victory with convincing straight-set singles victories at No. 5 and No. 1 singles, respectively. Ziqi may also contribute in doubles this time around, as the junior has teamed up with Lu to win their last two matches together at No. 3 doubles; they will face a significant challenge in Marist's Max Darrington and Lars Schouten on Saturday.
To wrap up the Invitational on Sunday, Yale will square off against Fairfield. This season's matchup marks the two sides' fifth meeting since 2013; in the previous three clashes, the Elis dictated play with 6-1, 8-1 and 6-1 victories. In last year's fixture, Stefan Doehler posted a decisive 6-4, 6-1 victory over Fairfield's Dylan Appel at No. 4 singles; he will likely play Appel again in the same position for this year's clash. The Yale junior has excelled recently, and will look to notch his fifth straight singles victory at home this weekend.
This weekend's home Invitational will pose a significant test for a Yale squad that is looking to preserve its positive momentum heading into April, which will feature the bulk of Ivy League competition. The ball is set to drop at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday with Yale's match against Stony Brook; all matches this weekend will be played indoors at Yale's Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center unless weather permits outdoor play. The full schedule for this weekend's Invitational can be found below.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity
2017 Yale Invitational Schedule
10:00 am: Yale vs Stony Brook doubles
Marist vs Fairfield doubles
10:45 am: Yale vs Stony Brook singles
12:30 pm: Marist vs Fairfield singles
4:00 pm: Yale vs Marist singles
6:00 pm: Fairfield vs Stony Brook singles
9:00 am: Yale vs Marist doubles
Fairfield vs Stony Brook doubles
9:45 am: Yale vs Fairfield doubles
Stony Brook vs Marist doubles
11:00 am: Stony Brook vs Marist singles
2:00 pm: Yale vs Fairfield singles