Feb. 5, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The newly renovated Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center will be buzzing with activity this weekend as the Yale men's tennis team opens the spring portion of its schedule with matches against Georgetown, Stony Brook and USC Upstate on Saturday and Sunday.
The Bulldogs scrimmaged Brown last weekend in preparation for this, their 105th season. Nine players return from last year's squad, led by senior captain Jeff Dawson. Dawson had an impressive fall, advancing to the semifinals at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships at Cullman-Heyman. His younger brother, junior Connor Dawson, added to the family's list of accomplishments by winning the Connecticut State Championship in singles and doubles (with sophomore Calvin Bennett).
Georgetown is the only one of the three teams that Yale has faced in recent years. The Bulldogs beat the Hoyas in D.C. last season, 5-2. The Dawson brothers, along with senior Michael Caldwell and Rory Green '09, delivered wins in singles. Yale also won two of the three doubles matches, led by Bennett and Green at No. 1.
This will be the first time Yale has played USC Upstate. The Spartans are coming off road wins at Troy and Alabama State. Both matches were played in the same day, an unusual doubleheader that showcased the team's depth with nine different players playing singles matches.
This will be Stony Brook's first time on the court since the Northeast Regional, where sophomore Ivan Rummel advanced to the round of 16. Rummel was also part of a doubles team with junior Ilan Shvartz that lost to the Yale team of Jeff Dawson and freshman Erik Blumenkranz in the first round at Regionals.
"Stony Brook's top players are very good," said Yale head coach Alex Dorato, who is in his 17th season at the helm of the program. "I got to see them play at Regionals in November. We'll have to play well to knock them off. We have been practicing hard and playing well, so I like our chances in all three matches."
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity