M. TENNIS | Elis dominate at USTA Invitational

Playing in Flushing, N.Y., on the grounds of the U.S. Open, the men’s tennis team dominated the USTA Invitational over the weekend, claiming two singles titles as well as a victory in doubles.

Daniel Hoffman ’13 won the top flight of the singles tournament and paired with Marc Powers ’13 to secure the doubles title for the Bulldogs.

Erik Blumenkranz ’12 rounded out the weekend by winning the Flight B singles tournament. The tournament consisted of nine singles flights and four doubles flights, and featured 128 of the top collegiate players in the nation, including players in the Ivy League. Although there was not team scoring, assistant coach Christian Appleman believes Yale had the best showing of the Ivy League teams that were there.

“Some schools performed well in one or two flights but our results from top to bottom were exceptional,” he said.

Asserting Yale’s place atop the competition was especially satisfying due to the team’s past struggles in Flushing.

“We haven’t been very good traditionally in this tournament,” Zachary Dean ’13 said.

Hoffman’s conquest of the Ivy opposition provides hope for league play in the spring, as he dismantled Tigers, Bears and Quakers en route to the final. After clinching his semifinal defeat of Penn junior Hicham Laalej, Hoffman suffered full-body cramps and was escorted to the hospital for IV treatment.

He returned the following day, however, to avenge the early-round exit from last weekend’s tournament and clinch the title without dropping a set all weekend, posting a 6–3, 6–3 victory over Milo Hauk of St. John’s.

“It was a great showing for us and it shows that we have the potential to win the Ivy League if we keep it up,” Hoffman said.

Blumenkranz’s tournament was rockier, but he still displayed mental fortitude, according to the coaching staff. Facing St. John’s Stefan Bojic in the semifinal, Blumenkranz endured three sets of highs and lows, finally prevailing by a score of 6–0, 5-7, 11–9.

“We kept our composure in some tough situations,” Appleman said of Blumenkranz and the rest of the Elis.

On the doubles side, the Bulldogs relied once again on the sophomore duo of Powers and Hoffman for a high-caliber performance. Unseeded in the A Doubles flight, the pair won three hotly-contested matches to reach the final, and then established their supremacy over the Harvard duo of Aba Omodele-Lucien and Josh Tchan with an 8–3 win.

With victories in the A singles, B singles, and A doubles finals, the Bulldogs claimed three more titles this weekend than last weekend at the Princeton-Farnsworth Invitational.

Patrick Chase ’14 represented the freshman class, posting two wins before his semifinal loss.

Appleman was highly satisfied by the performance of his team and said that it was a very productive weekend for the team. With the number of victories over Princeton, Brown, Penn and Harvard, Appleman’s pride is far from baseless.

The Elis look to keep the machine churning as they send Powers, John Huang ’13, and the doubles team of Blumenkranz and Joel Samaha ’12 to All-American Pre-Qualifying this weekend in Tulsa, OK.

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