April 1, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 72 Bulldogs will kick off their Ivy League season this weekend when they host Princeton and Penn Friday and Saturday. Yale will look to improve upon its 10-5 record.
Last Saturday, Yale defeated St. John's 5-2. Prior to that, the Bulldogs went 4-2 on the California trip to earn its first national ranking of the season. Yale defeated then No. 64 UC Irvine and current No. 64 Nevada on the trip. Both of the Bulldogs' losses in the Golden State came at the hands of ranked opponents: No. 54 Pacific and No. 62 Utah.
Last season, Yale split its matches against Penn and Princeton. Against the Quakers, the Bulldogs lost 6-1. Connor Dawson came up with Yale's lone victory in the loss. The Bulldogs pulled out a 4-3 win over Princeton last season. In the match, Jeff Dawson, Connor Dawson, and Calvin Bennett won at No. 1, 3, and 4 singles, respectively. Yale also won the doubles point.
To date, Penn has posted a 9-7 record. Last Saturday, the Quakers opened their Ivy League season with a 4-3 loss to Princeton. Like Yale, Penn made a spring trip to California. The Quakers posted a 2-2 record on this trip.
Princeton is 9-6 so far this season. The Tigers opened their Ivy League season with a 4-3 victory over Penn last Saturday at home. The Tigers have beaten ranked opponents Utah and UC Irvine so far this season. Princeton has also defeated Furman, a team Yale lost to.
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. Sophomore Jordan Abergel, sophomore Ryan Berman, senior Josh Lederman, senior Tom Santoro, and junior Matt Schimmel are also returning this season for Yale.
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