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Weekend Slate Features Dartmouth, Harvard

Stefan Doehler. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Stefan Doehler. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale (15-4) to Face Dartmouth (7-11) Away on Friday, Harvard (13-8) Home on Sunday 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a convincing 4-1 win over St. John's on Saturday, the Yale men's tennis team will play its crucial second and third Ivy League matches of the season this weekend against Dartmouth and Harvard. These upcoming matches will give the Bulldogs an opportunity to build on a 5-2 win over Brown in last month's conference opener and prove themselves as Ivy League title contenders. As for this weekend's logistics, Yale will travel to Hanover to take on the Big Green at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, then return home to take on the Crimson at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Dartmouth, Yale's first opponent of the weekend, has achieved mixed results this season with a 7-11 overall record; the team's strength of schedule has been incredibly high, however, featuring seven nationally ranked opponents. Although the Big Green edged Yale in this fixture a year ago, the Bulldogs were without top player Tyler Lu and forced a number of close matches across the board. One of these matches saw Yale's Alex Hagermoser force a third set against Dartmouth's Max Fliegner, who will return this year at No. 3 singles and face freshman star Dylan King, who boasts a 15-2 singles record this spring. King's fellow freshman Andrew Heller will also have his hands full with a matchup against Dartmouth's George Wall at No. 5 singles, who is 6-1 in his last seven matches.

As Yale's second opponent of the weekend, Harvard looks to be an even tougher threat after beating Dartmouth 4-1 last weekend. The Crimson is currently riding a four-match win streak, and will come into Sunday's match with confidence after edging the Elis earlier this season; since that loss, however, the Bulldogs have solidified their place among the Northeast Region's elite by winning 11 of 12 matches. Yale junior Ziqi Wang, who missed the two teams' most recent meeting, will challenge Harvard's Jean Thirouin at No. 2 singles; although Thirouin comes into the match having won his last eight matches, Wang also boasts an impressive spring record at 12-2. Wang's fellow junior Stefan Doehler will likely face Harvard's Andy Zhou at the No. 4 spot, a tough player who beat Yale's Ryan Cheng when the two sides clashed earlier this year.

On a larger level, this weekend's matches will serve as a meaningful indicator of how the Elis will fare in the Ivy League this season. The Match always brings with it added significance, however, and Sunday's Harvard-Yale clash is expected to draw a home crowd of more than 250 spectators. A win in front of such an enthusiastic home crowd could be the boost the Bulldogs need in their push for the Ivy League title.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity