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Men's tennis swings into Ivy League season with wins over Brown, Yale

Returning from a two-week hiatus, the men’s tennis team opened their Ivy League campaign this past weekend with a pair of home matches against Brown and Yale. Despite the break, the Tigers quickly found their rhythm in order to claim wins in both their Ivy League encounters. Princeton beat both Brown and Yale 4-1.

Junior Tom Colautti, describing his team’s mentality entering the match, said, “I think we were feeling pretty confident. Having played Brown earlier in the year and beating them, I think we knew that if we played well, we had a good chance of winning. Our coaches did, however, stress the importance of not overlooking Brown, as they can be a dangerous team when given the chance.”

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Brown was indeed dangerous, having won the doubles point, though junior Alex Day and sophomore Luke Gamble won one doubles match. With the victories of sophomore Diego Vives, Colautti, Day and sophomore Kial Kaiser, the Tigers were able to finish with a 4-1 win.

Colautti views the team’s mistakes in the past in a positive light, hoping to learn from them as the team continues to take on the Ivy Leagues. “I think overall we competed well but maybe could've been a bit sharper and closed some matches out more efficiently. This will be especially important against some of the stronger teams that we have coming up in the rest of Ivy League play.”

The Princeton squad took these lessons to heart as it continued its strong performance with another win against the Bulldogs. This time the Tigers would land the first punch by claiming the double point. The Bulldogs would respond by winning the first singles match-up, evening up the score board. However, the tie would be short-lived, as the Tigers eventually secured the next three sets. Wins from Day, junior Joshua Yablon and sophomore Luke Gamble helped Princeton ice the victory.

Ranked No. 34 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the Tigers are the second-highest ranked Ivy League team, only behind No. 28 Columbia. They are far afield of No. 40 Dartmouth and No. 47 Harvard, whom the Tigers will face this coming weekend.

Colautti is looking ahead realistically to the remainder of the spring season. “First and foremost, we play Dartmouth and Harvard on the road this coming weekend, which will be two really challenging matches. I think if we can come out of those two matches unscathed then we could be in a good position to make a strong push for the Ivy title.”

Colautti will remain hopeful, regardless of their performance in this campaign. “However, if we don't happen to win the Ivy League, we are still aiming to make the postseason national tournament. To manage that we realistically need to win five of our Ivy matches and our national ranking should still be high enough to ensure us an at-large berth to the postseason tournament.”

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The Tigers will play the remaining five Ivy teams throughout the month of April, to be followed by the NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

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