Yale (14-4) to Play St. John's (8-12) in Flushing, N.Y., at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Following a successful spring break trip to California, the Yale men's tennis team is set to face its final non-conference opponent of the season, St. John's, on Saturday. Saturday's clash will mark the second time the Bulldogs have played the Red Storm this season; the two sides' previous meeting on Feb. 19 saw Yale earn an impressive 4-0 victory and lay the foundation for what would become a season-defining 10-match win streak. St. John's has improved since February's match, however, most recently notching a 4-0 win over conference opponent Georgetown. As a result, Saturday's match in Flushing promises to be a competitive affair between two of the Northeast Region's top teams.
In February's meeting between these two sides, senior captain Tyler Lu closed out the match for Yale with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over SJU's No. 1 player Robert Livi, who was ranked No. 120 in the nation at the time. As Livi has since dropped down to the No. 2 spot where he will likely face Yale's Ziqi Wang on Saturday, Lu will play SJU's Luka Sucevic this time around; though Sucevic fell to Stefan Doehler in the No. 3 spot last month, he has risen to the top of the Red Storm's singles lineup following wins against Bryant and Virginia Commonwealth. In facing Sucevic, Lu will be looking to improve his impressive 12-2 singles record this spring and continue to move up the ITA national singles rankings.
The two teams' most recent clash also saw sophomore Dennis Wang step into the No. 6 singles spot and win in straight sets over SJU's Adolfo Blanco Paris; this time around, however, he will put his 5-4 dual match singles record to the test against SJU senior Federico Ruiz. Freshmen Andrew Heller and Dylan King also contributed to February's 4-0 victory, and will work to do so again on Saturday. Both Heller and King have built positive momentum of late, with the former having won five of his last six matches and the latter currently riding a nine-match win streak. Yale seniors Alex Hagermoser and Photos Photiades will also be called upon on Saturday to make key contributions in doubles, which was passed over for last month's match due to time constraints.
Although St. John's often represents one of the toughest challenges on Yale's schedule, the surging Elis will be confident in their ability to secure a second straight victory over the Red Storm. Saturday's match is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity