The Yale men’s tennis team had a strong performance at this weekend’s USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championship, with three singles players advancing to Monday’s quarterfinals.
John Huang ’13, Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Marc Powers ’13 all advanced by winning three straight matches after first-round byes. The Bulldogs now account for three out of the eight players left in singles play.
Huang, Hoffman and Powers are members of a recruiting class that was ranked fourth nationally in 2009. They were some of the best players in their respective regions and were all ranked in the top 50 nationally as high school players.
Coach Alex Dorato called the Class of 2013 “incredibly talented” and “living up to their billing.” Huang believes that if the sophomores continue to play well, “one of us could win the tournament.”
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Erik Blumenkranz ’12 missed qualifying for the fourth round, losing 1–6, 4–6 to Matija Pecotic of Princeton.
Joel Samaha ’12 lost to Sven Vloedgraven of Binghamton 3–6, 5–7 in the second round. Jordan Abergel ’11 fell in a three-set loss to Drexel’s Manu Bajpai 2–6, 6–3, 6–7 in the qualifying round Thursday. Bajpai eventually reached the second round of the main draw.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs sent three doubles teams to the tournament, though the teams fared less well than the singles players.
The duo of Hoffman and Power reached the third round by defeating Petr Rousar and Ike Kiro of the New Jersey Institute of Technology after a first round bye. They lost a tough battle 8–9 Sunday against Buffalo’s Marcelo Mazzetto and Mitch Zanaty.
“Daniel and Marc lost a close match. They had a very good fall season,” Dorato explained.
In other doubles play, Abergel and Huang lost to Cornell’s Jonathan Jaklitsch and Mirza Klis on opening day. Blumenkranz and Samaha lost to Curtis Roby and Stephen Greif of Dartmouth in the second round after receiving byes.
Dorato remarked that the doubles “did not do very well” compared to the singles, and Blumenkranz agreed. “We didn’t do as well as we thought we would,” he said.
Huang added: “We ran into some bad luck. All of the matches were really close and could’ve gone either way. The singles had some favorable draws.”
The team remains very hopeful for the upcoming spring season.
Blumenkranz said that the team will have a lot of time in the coming months to improve before the spring season starts.
“It’s tough to say [about the future],” Huang said. “We are pretty optimistic about it and we have a good team. Come spring hopefully everyone would play well and we could win the Ivy League.”
The Northeast Regional Championship, held at Yale’s Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, will determine which players head to Flushing, N.Y., for the 2010 USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships from Nov. 4-7.