After jumping to a 3–1 lead against No. 70 St. John’s University on Sunday afternoon, the men’s tennis team (7–7, 0–0 Ivy League) lost three closely contested singles matches as the Red Storm rallied to a 4–3 victory in New Haven.
The loss was the Bulldogs’ second of their spring break schedule, during which they beat Quinnipiac, Binghamton and Old Dominion. The team’s other loss came against No. 63 UNC-Wilmington last Wednesday.
“I thought we did very well today,” Marc Powers ’13 said. “We should have won the match. It came down to a few points and we were not on the lucky side.”
The Elis won the doubles point to start off the match against St. John’s. Erik Blumenkranz ’12 and Joel Samaha ’12 claimed an 8–2 victory at the No. 2 spot while Calvin Bennett ’11 and John Huang ’13 won by the same score at the No. 3.
Powers then extended Yale’s lead to 2–0 with a 6–0, 6–2 win against Asaf Honig in singles play. St. John’s Matty Najfeld responded with a straight set victory over Bennett at the No. 6 spot, 6–3, 6–2.
Jordan Abergel ’11 dropped the first set 6–3 to Mischa Koran at No. 5, but pulled to a 6–4 win in the second set with a drop shot. He then finished off the third set with a 6–2 victory, putting the Bulldogs within one point of clinching the match, 3–1.
At the time of Abergel’s win, three other Bulldogs were in the midst of third sets of their singles matches. Yale would need just one victory in order to clinch the win.
But despite that two point advantage, the Elis were unable to score another point.
At the No. 3 spot, Michael Lampa rallied past Huang after losing the first set. He broke Huang’s serve in the third set to go up 5–4 and overcame a 30–0 deficit in the final game for the 6–4 win.
Dropping the first set 5–7, Blumenkranz dropped his first set against Gustav Kallen, but battled back to win the second set 6–4. In the third set, he pulled to within 5–4 of Kallen, but he was unable to stave off consecutive match points as the Red Storm tied the match 3–3.
It all came down to the contest between Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Milo Hauk at the No. 2 singles spot. Hoffman, who was down 5–6 in the third set, came within a point of tying Hauk, but lost four straight points to seal St. John’s comeback.
“It was definitely a heartbreaking loss,” Abergel said. “St. John’s is an Ivy League caliber team, so it was a good way to measure our opponents.”
After finishing second in the Ivy League for two consecutive seasons, the Bulldogs have one more match left before they begin Ivy League play against Penn and Princeton.
“I think we are as ready as we can be [for the Ivy season],” Powers said. “Everyone on our team is working through the difficulties of the season and it’s all about peaking at the right time.”
Yale will host Sacred Heart tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.