After a commanding 5–2 victory over No. 61 Penn, the men’s tennis team (9–8, 1–1 Ivy League) fell in a close match against No. 58 Princeton as the Tigers clung to a 4–3 victory. After the split, the Bulldogs are currently tied for third in the Ancient Eight standings with Harvard and Dartmouth. The Bulldogs dominated doubles play over the weekend, winning all six doubles matches over two days.
“I thought this weekend was our best performance to date,” head coach Alex Dorato said.
Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Marc Powers ’13 defeated Penn 8–5 on Friday before claiming an 8–6 victory over the Tigers the next day. Erik Blumenkranz ’12 and Joel Samaha ’12 won 8–6 against the Quakers and edged out Princeton 8–7. The team of Calvin Bennett ’11 and John Huang ’13 pulled off back-to-back 8–4 wins over their opponents.
“We have been training a lot in doubles and playing a lot of doubles in practice,” Powers said. “Every team that wins the Ivy League needed the doubles point, considering how important it is.”
The Elis continued their strong play against Penn in the singles matches, winning four points to secure a victory in Yale’s conference opener.
Huang and Hoffman both won their matches in three sets at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Blumenkranz dispatched Jason Lin 6–4, 7–5 at the No. 4, while Jordan Abergel ’11 cruised to a 7–6, 6–3 victory over Zach Katz at the No. 6. Powers and Samaha’s second-set comebacks were not enough as both lost their singles matches in the third set.
But the Bulldogs came up just short in singles on Saturday against the Tigers.
Princeton tied the match after Powers lost a rematch against Matija Pecotic 6–1, 6–2. The two had met earlier this season in the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championship semifinals; Pecotic took that match 6–0, 6–2.
Huang easily defeated Augie Bloom 6–3, 6–2 to put Yale ahead 2–1 overall. After dropping the first set, Hoffman won two straight sets to defeat Matt Spindler 3–6, 6–4, 6–1. Blumenkranz and Samaha were unable to overcome Princeton’s first set victories at the No. 4 and No. 5 spots and the Tigers escaped New Haven with a 3–0 record in the Ivy League.
“We definitely could have won the match, considering that most of the singles matches we lost were very close,” Abergel said. “It is uncommon for us to lose at numbers one, four, five and six in the same match.”
The Bulldogs will travel to New York this weekend to take on defending Ivy champion Columbia on Saturday before heading north to face ECAC champion Cornell the next day.
“Knowing we can beat Penn, which is the third highest ranked team in the league, gave us the confidence that we can beat anybody,” Dorato said.