TENNIS: Harvard and Dartmouth against sets with season concludes

This weekend, Yale’s tennis teams finished conference play and finished their season with Friday’s Dartmouth and Sunday matchup against Harvard.

The women’s tennis team (14–9, 5–2 Ivy) traveled to Hanover on Friday, where they took on Dartmouth (7–13, 1–6). Meanwhile, the men hosted the Big Green (9–12, 1–6) at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. On Sunday, the men hit the road to Cambridge, where they battled Harvard (18–4, 7–0), as the women welcomed the Crimson (12–11, 3–4) to New Haven.

The women’s team bested Dartmouth in a 4–3 victory on Friday and overcame Harvard in a 4–3 thriller Sunday.

Chelsea Kung ’23 led the singles in the team, followed by Caroline Dunleavy ’22, Jessie Gong ’22, Rhea Shrivastava ’23, Vivian Cheng ’23 and Kathy Wang ’22. Kung and Gong head the women’s doubles line-up, ahead of Cheng with Shrivastava and Wang with Dunleavy.

“We had a great final weekend, beating two tough teams, Dartmouth and Harvard,” said women’s head coach Rachel Kahan.

Victories this weekend meant that Kung and Cheng finished the Ivy season undefeated. On Friday, Gong and Cheng won straight-set victories against the Big Green with scores of (7–5, 6–4) and (6–4, 6–1), respectively. Kung and Shrivastava snatched third-set wins of (6–3, 4–6, 6–4) and (1–6, 6–1, 6–1), respectively.

On Sunday, Cheng once again won in straight sets (6–2, 6–0). She was joined by No. 1 singles player Kung in a two-set win (7–5, 6–4). At No. 3 singles, a final score of Gong clinched with a nail-biter (3–6, 6–4, 6–4).

In addition to the Harvard match being the seniors’ last collegiate match, it was also their Senior Day. The coaches and players celebrated the contributions that Wang, Dunleavy and Gong made to their Yale tennis program over the years.

For Gong, this year’s Senior Day was the most special, as highlighted by her team’s full schedule and pandemic of losing two seasons after playing the year.

For the first-year Brettkelly, the team’s 5–2 Ivy League standout is a reminder that every team is at the same level of competitiveness as they begin to fight the match.

The Yale women’s tennis team finished the season at No. 62 in The National Rankings. Princeton leads the Ivy League at no. 49, followed by No. 56 Columbia, No. 62 Yale, No. 63 Penn and No. 73 Harvard.

Kung ends the season at number one. 73 nationally.

The Men began the weekend with a great 5–2 victory over the Big Green. However, the team ended their season with a 0–4 loss to the Crimson.

Theo Dean ’24 led the singles in the team, followed by Michael Sun ’23, Cody Lin ’22, Aidan Reilly ’25, Walker Oberg ’25 and Luke Neal ’25. Lin and Renaud Lefevre ’24 lead the team in doubles, Dean with Reilly and Sun with Neal.

“On Friday, we were able to beat Dartmouth after dropping the doubles point so we had the ability, and on Sunday, we had the best team we’ve ever had. They are talented and tough and it takes them to stay at a very high level of play, ”said Men’s Head Coach Chris Drake.

On Friday, Dean, Sun and Reilly were straight-set victors with scores of (6–2, 6–2), (7–6, 6–3) and (6–0, 6–2), respectively. Luke Neal battled in a three-set match to win (3–6, 6–3, 6–3).

Because the Dartmouth match was the men’s last home match of the season, the Bulldogs celebrated their only senior, Lin, on a senior day on a reception.

Although the overall match score suggests a comfortable victory for Harvard over the men’s team on Sunday, the actual match was far above the score. Reilly and Dean posted a 6–2 win at the second line of doubles, and the Elis ’No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams fell into tiebreakers. Neal was up in a set and ahead of the second set 2–0 and Dean was one game away from winning a match, followed by Harvard taking their fourth point.

Dean stood out this weekend. Harvard’s Henry von der Schulenburg, who is ranked number one on Friday. 31 nationally, but he and Reilly triumphed over two sets of opponents this weekend with doubles to a conference play record of 6–1.

Sun ends the season at number one. 111 nationally.

Ahead of the next season, Oberg hopes “to see the same guys [next season] and see if [they] They can do better against them than in the off-season.

The men’s team did not make the list of the top 75 Division 1 teams in the country. However, five other members of the league are currently ranked: Harvard checks in at No. 14, ahead of No. 25 Columbia, No. 39 Princeton, No. 45 Penn and No. 65 Cornell.

Neal has hope that the team will be nationally ranked next year, and he looks forward to seeing what his team can accomplish with the incoming 2026 recruiting class.

The men will welcome two members of the Class of 2026 to their team next fall, and the women will add three more incoming first years to their roster.

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