Bulldogs Impress in Home Opener

Photos Photiades (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Photos Photiades (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

Cheng, King, Lu, Z. Wang Notch Singles Wins as Elis top William & Mary 5-2 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team officially opened the dual match season at home on Friday with a match against William & Mary. The Bulldogs, who came into the match looking to avenge a 4-3 loss in this fixture a year ago, fielded a starting lineup with a number of fresh faces. Notably, all three freshmen – Ryan Cheng, Andrew Heller and Dylan King – assumed starting singles spots and found success. Despite William & Mary's strong performance, the new and improved Yale lineup won handily by a score of 5-2 to improve the Elis' dual match record to 1-0.

Friday's action began with a round of doubles play, although it didn't last long. At the No. 1 doubles spot, Stefan Doehler and Alex Hagermoser combined well and finished within the hour, topping William & Mary's Ryan Newman and Aidan Talcott, 6-2. Freshman duo Cheng and King also won their match at the No. 3 spot in quick fashion, downing William & Mary's Christian Cargill and Damon Niquet, 6-2. Once the Elis had clinched the doubles point, Tyler Lu and Ziqi Wang's match at No. 2 doubles was suspended. 

After a dominant round of doubles, the Bulldogs moved into the singles round with significant momentum. The freshman Cheng was the first to finish at No. 5 singles, dispatching William & Mary's Lars de Boer 6-3, 6-0; this result improved his singles record on the season to 11-3. The remaining matches, however, were relatively competitive. Although the Elis experienced a setback when William & Mary's Alec Miller and Damon Niquet won their matches at No. 4 and No. 6 singles, respectively, the home side managed to close the match convincingly. At the top singles spot, senior captain Lu survived a tight second set to win 6-2, 7-6 over William & Mary's Talcott; this victory was particularly impressive given Talcott's high national ranking in singles (No. 72), and should give Lu himself a strong case for a national ranking.

The two closest singles matches of the day came in the middle of the lineup. In the No. 2 spot, Yale's Ziqi Wang found himself in a number of tough spots, but ultimately succeeded in holding serve on several crucial occasions to edge William & Mary's Cargill by the score 6-3, 6-4. Meanwhile, the No. 3 singles match entered a third set, with Yale's King locked in a battle with William & Mary's Addison Appleby. After narrowly dropping the first set 6-4, the Yale freshman rebounded in the next two sets and dominated play, ultimately securing a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory. This result improved his singles record on the season to an impressive 14-2. 

Although the Bulldogs will be enthusiastic about their dominant performance on Friday, they have little time to celebrate – their next match against a tough Buffalo squad is set for tomorrow at 1 p.m. 

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity

FULL MATCH RESULTS -- Yale 5, William & Mary 2

Position  Yale University  College of William and Mary  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Tyler Lu  #72 Aidan Talcott  Yale University  6-2, 7-6
 #2 Singles  Ziqi Wang  Christian Cargill  Yale University  6-3, 6-4
 #3 Singles  Dylan King  Addison Appleby  Yale University  4-6,, 6-1, 6-1
 #4 Singles  Stefan Doehler  Alec Miller  College of William and Mary  6-4, 6-3
 #5 Singles  Ryan Cheng  Lars de Boer  Yale University  6-3, 6-0
 #6 Singles  Andrew Heller  Damon Niquet  College of William and Mary  6-3, 6-3
 #1 Doubles  Stefan Doehler 
 Alex Hagermoser
 Aidan Talcott 
 Ryan Newman
 Yale University  6-2
 #2 Doubles  Tyler Lu 
 Ziqi Wang
 Addison Appleby 
 Tristan Bautil
 Unfinished  
 #3 Doubles  Ryan Cheng 
 Dylan King
 Christian Cargill 
 Damon Niquet
 Yale University  6-2