MEN’S TENNIS | Split weekend for the Elis

John Huang ’13 took down UAB’s David Zimmerman by 6–2, 6–3 at No. 1 singles on Saturday.
John Huang ’13 took down UAB’s David Zimmerman by 6–2, 6–3 at No. 1 singles on Saturday. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

The unranked men’s tennis team split its weekend in Nashville, Tenn., against two distant rivals, ending its four-match winning streak.

The Elis (4–1, 0–0 Ivy) took on the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2–6) and came out on top with a 4–3 victory on Saturday. Less than 24 hours later, Yale suffered its first loss of the season to nationally ranked No. 43 Middle Tennessee State University 6–1. Both matches were played at the Nashboro Village Athletic Club in Nashville.

“I thought that the team played well,” team captain Daniel Hoffman ’13 said. “Our doubles wasn’t as sharp as we would’ve liked. UAB was a good team, and it was great that we were able to win after losing the doubles point. Zach Dean [’13] clinched the match against UAB.”

On Saturday, the Bulldogs fought back from behind for the first time this year. Yale lost the doubles point for the first time this season and ended up coming back in singles to gain the win. At No. 1, the No. 19 nationally ranked duo of Hoffman and Marc Powers ’13 lost in a close match 8–6, while at No. 3, Dean and Matt Saiontz ’15 fell 8–4 in another tough battle.

In singles, the Yale upperclassmen saved the match for the Bulldogs. At No. 1, John Huang ’13 easily defeated UAB’s David Zimmerman 6–2, 6–3. Powers put up a tally for the Elis at No. 2, and Hoffman added to the Elis’ points with a victory at No. 3. Dean determined the fate of the match with a close win 7–6, 7–5 over Luiz Pinto.

“UAB is a talented team that competes extremely hard,” Zachary Krumholz ’15 said. “The most challenging part about the match was developing strategies against opponents that were completely foreign to us.”

On Sunday against MTSU (6–2), the Bulldogs again dropped the doubles point. At No. 1, Hoffman and Powers were upset by Yannick Born and Marlon Brand, 8–6.

Unlike Saturday’s match play, the Elis dropped the top three singles matches. Jason Brown ’16 had the lone win for Yale in the 6–1 loss, with a 5–7, 6–4, 6–3 victory. His win-loss record for his first year of play at Yale is 21–2.

“Middle Tennessee was a really deep and strong team,” Huang said. “They had a lot of big guys and played really well on their courts. We had some tough doubles matches again and did our best to get another comeback win. Their team just played better and more solid overall.”

On Friday the Bulldogs will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., to participate in the ECAC Division I Indoor Team Championship hosted by Cornell.

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