After fighting through four rounds of top-ranked college tennis players in the Northeast, two of the Bulldogs’ top players had their tournament title runs come to a halt. In what was the biggest tournament of the fall season for the Elis, Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Marc Powers ’13 lost in their semifinals matches on Monday, ending the hopes of an all-Bulldog final.
Powers, the runner-up to last year’s USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, defeated Penn’s Phil Law 6–0, 6–1 in the quarterfinals but fell to Princeton’s Matija Pecotic 0–6, 2–6.
“I was a little disappointed in my performance, but I can’t say that I was upset by how I played,” Powers said. “I had an unbelievable match. [Pecotic] really came out energetic and deserves the win.”
Hoffman reached the semifinals by winning two straight sets against Brown’s Sam Fife after dropping the first set, 4-6, 6-1,6-3. He lost to the tournament’s top-seed and eventual champion Sven Vloedgraven of Binghamton University 2-6, 4-6 in their semifinals match.
Vloedgraven had also ousted John Huang ’13 earlier on Monday in the quarterfinals, winning 6–1,6–1 as well as Joel Samaha ’12 in the second round. Powers lost in last year’s final to Vloedgraven 6–4, 0–6, 2–6.
“I was very happy to have three of the eight quarterfinalists and two of the four semifinalists,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “I actually thought that in the semifinals we lost to two players who were really on.”
Dorato also highlighted the play of Samaha and Erik Blumenkranz ’12, who won their opening matches before being eliminated by the two finalists in the second and third rounds respectively. Team captain Calvin Bennett ’11 did not play in the tournament due to an injury.
The Elis use the fall season to better prepare for the upcoming spring season, and players interviewed said that because of the Bulldogs’ success so far, they believe the team has a chance to win the Ivy League.
“If we can keep it up and keep training, this could be our year,” Powers said.
He also added that the team has better depth than last year with a freshman class that has been posting strong results so far and is capable of making an impact in the spring. Tommy Ratchford ’14 and Zachary Dean ’14 finished second in their doubles draw at the Princeton-Farnsworth Invitational in September. At the Army Invitational, Patrick Chase ’14 and Kyle Dawson ’14 won their singles plays and teamed up for a doubles victory.
Hoffman said that after missing first place last year by just one lost match to Harvard, the Bulldogs have a good foundation to take the title this year; Dorato agreed.
“What we can take away from [the fall season] is that we are better than any other team in the Northeast in terms of singles, and the top half of our line-up is very good,” Dorato said. “We are just as good as any other of the Ivies and will be in the hunt for the title.”
The team will be off this weekend before playing at the upcoming Connecticut State Championship at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center Oct. 29-31.