March 11, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale will look to improve upon its 5-3 record when it travels to California to play six teams in four cities in just over a week during the annual spring break trip starting Wednesday.
The Bulldogs will battle UC Irvine, UCSB, Loyola Marymount, Nevada, Pacific, and Utah. The matches against Nevada, Pacific, and Utah will all come in San Diego, Calif.
Three of Yale's six matches will come against ranked teams during the trip (No. 56 Utah, No. 64 UC Irvine, No. 69 Pacific).
To date this season, Yale has defeated South Carolina-Upstate, Georgetown, Stony Brook, Navy, and Army.
Yale's 2009 schedule includes a trip to the west coast during spring break. During this trip, the Bulldogs will face three ranked teams. Yale will battle No. 62 UC Santa Barbara, No. 63 UC Irvine, and No. 66 Utah. Also on their schedule, the Bulldogs will face No. 69 Furman and No. 48 Harvard.
Nine Returning Players
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).
Also returning for Yale is senior Michael Caldwell. As a sophomore, Caldwell went 6-1 in Ivy League play at No. 2 singles and earned First Team All-Ivy. Last season, Caldwell split time between No. 1 and No. 2 singles and earned Second Team All-Ivy.
Two New Additions
The Bulldogs have added freshman Joel Samaha and freshman Erik Blumenkranz to the nine returning players from last season. From Tampa, Fla., the 6'6" Samaha will be an instant contributor to the Bulldogs this spring. Blumenkranz, the Portola Valley, Calif. native, also will be play a big role in Yale's spring season this year.
Report Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity