The men’s tennis team saw it’s Ivy Championship hopes disappear over the weekend.
After being edged out by Princeton, 4–3, last weekend, the Bulldogs (9–10, 1–3 Ivy League) dropped two more one point matches, losing to both Columbia and No. 46 Cornell, 4–3, on the road. With the Elis’ losses, the team is now sixth in the conference, and, with only three games remaining against Harvard, Dartmouth, and Brown, it is mathematically impossible for them to win a league title.
“Our goal right now is no longer winning the Ivy League championship,” Powers said. “Our biggest goal as a team is to come out strong and take Harvard by surprise and beat them. We have not had a very good record against them over the last 20 years.”
The Bulldogs’ doubles teams continued their strong play, winning two matches to claim the doubles point. Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Marc Powers ’13 easily defeated brothers Cyril and Tizian Bucher 8–1 at the No. 1 spot. The duo of Erik Blumenkranz ’12 and Joel Samaha ’12 dispatched their opponents 8–4 at No. 2 position.
The Bulldogs then won two singles matches to go up 3–0. John Huang ’13 topped Cyril Bucher 6–2, 6–0 in the No. 2 spot and Hoffman defeated Nathaniel Gery 7–5, 6–1.
After those wins, the team only needed one singles win to clinch the overall victory against Columbia. However, the Lions made a furious comeback, winning four straight singles contests, all in the third set, to take the match.
“It’s really tough playing on the road,” Jordan Abergel ’11 said. “You have a lot of people cheering against you and we are not used to the conditions.”
On Sunday, the Bulldogs, who had lost only one doubles match in the last three games, surprisingly dropped all three doubles matches against the Big Red.
“We have the best doubles in the league but we came out a little flat against Cornell,” Powers said.
The Elis won three singles matches, but that was not enough to overcome the Big Red’s early lead. Huang won 6–1, 6–7, 7–5 at the No. 1 spot and Hoffman won in straight sets at the No. 3 position. Both players are undefeated in Ivy play. Powers scored the final point for Yale at No. 2, winning 7–5, 6–2.
Despite the repeated losses, head coach Alex Dorato said that he is not surprised by how close all of the Bulldogs’ past three losses were.
“The league is so even,” Dorato said. “If you look at all the scores from Ivy League play, probably 75 percent of the matches are 4–3 wins.”
The Bulldogs will take on the Crimson this Friday at home before traveling to Hanover, N.H. to play Dartmouth on Sunday.