The men’s tennis team suffered its first loss at home in the spring season this past Saturday to No. 58 St. John’s, 4-3.
Yale (11-6, 0-0 Ivy) swept the doubles matches but could not carry the momentum to the singles round for the win. Both teams won two singles matches each, placing the pressure of the entire match on the outcome of the No. 2 spot.
“I thought we played well, but St. John’s is very good,” Daniel Hoffman ’13 said. “They play at the level of the top Ivy League teams. We were pretty close. If we had just broken at the other spots we would’ve won.”
Hoffman added that a win against St. John’s would have given Yale a national ranking.
The Bulldogs started off the match with a win at No. 2 doubles. The pair of Patrick Chase ’14 and John Huang ’13 easily defeated its opponents 8–2. Hoffman and his partner Marc Powers ’13 struggled at No. 1 but managed to pull off a 9–7 victory due to Powers’ dominance at the net and Hoffman’s tremendous serves.
At the No. 3 doubles spot, Daniel Faierman ’15 played in his first competitive team match with partner and team captain Erik Blumenkranz ’12. They defeated their opponents in a close 8–7 match through consistent play.
“There were a lot of momentum swings, but we stayed calm mentally,” Faierman said. “We volleyed well and returned decently. There is room for improvement though.”
In the singles round, both teams won two matches apiece. The Elis’ first victory came at No. 3, when Huang broke his opponent early on and came out with an easy 6–4, 6–2 win. Zach Krumholz ’15 also won at No. 6, defeating his opponent 7–5 in a close first set and finishing the match 6–2 in the second.
The final match left on the court was the No. 2 contest between Hoffman and St. John’s Milo Hauk. After a tough doubles match earlier on, a mentally strained Hoffman pulled out a win in the first set 7–5. In a close battle he lost the next two sets 6–4, ending the entire match. Hoffman said he was more upset that he did not win than with the way he played.
Yale’s head coach Alex Dorato added Hoffman is one of the toughest opponents to play. At No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles, Hoffman is the kind of player that is able to return any ball.
The Bulldogs will finish off their season playing against the other Ivies. This coming weekend they will travel to Princeton and Penn for the start of the Ivy League season.
Both Hoffman and Dorato said they are expecting to come out with wins this weekend.
Princeton is 10-8 in non-Ivy play this season, while Penn is 8-6. Neither team is currently ranked.