The men’s tennis team (9–12, 1–5 Ivy) struggled this weekend with losses against Harvard (14–10, 3–3) and Dartmouth (13–6, 4–2), 5–2 and 4–3, respectively. After winning their Ivy opener against Penn at the beginning of April, the Bulldogs have dropped five straight Ivy contests, four of them 4–3 losses, and have fallen to seventh place in the Ancient Eight. The game against Dartmouth was the Bulldogs’ eighth loss determined by a single point.
“It’s frustrating for all of us, but whether [the team] win[s] or lose[s] a match, they cannot beat themselves down,” head coach Alex Dorato said. “I’m proud with the way they handled their frustration.”
The Crimson captured the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots to start off Friday’s match. Daniel Hoffman ’13 and Marc Powers ’13 took the remaining match with a hard fought 9–8 victory over Aba Omodele-Lucien and Casey MacMaster at the No. 1 spot.
In singles play, Powers and Hoffman accounted for the Bulldogs’ only two points of the day with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Powers easily dispatched Omodele-Lucien 6–3, 6–3 while Hoffman edged out MacMaster 7–6, 6–3.
John Huang ’13, who played No. 1 singles for the second consecutive match, came close to forcing the contest to three sets but fell 7–5 in the second set after dropping the first one 6–1.
Erik Blumenkranz ’12 played a close match against Alistair Felton, eventually losing 7–6, 7–6. Felton, who lost to Blumenkranz in September at the Billy Jean King Invitational, leads the Crimson with 20 singles victories this year.
“Any team on any given day can be beat. In Ivy play, your past record doesn’t matter,” Powers said. “We just didn’t peak at the right time this year.”
The loss against Harvard marked the 90th meeting between the two teams. The Crimson are 64–26 all-time against the Bulldogs and have won the last 10 meetings.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs fell behind early again as the Big Green took the doubles point. After winning eight out of nine doubles matches in their first three Ivy contests, the Bulldogs have now lost seven of their last nine.
Close losses by Jordan Abergel ’11 and Joel Samaha ’12 in singles play put the Bulldogs even further behind.
Blumenkranz put the Elis on the board with a 7–6, 6–1 victory over Chris Ho and narrowed Dartmouth’s lead to 3–1. But Michael Laser bested Huang in three sets 6–2, 2–6, 6–1 to clinch the match for the Big Green.
“What was great in the Dartmouth match was that both Daniel and Marc were down a match point but came back to win,” Dorato said.
Powers won his match against Curtis Roby 6–4, 5–7, 7–6, while Hoffman remained undefeated in Ivy play with a victory over Xander Centenari 6–2, 2–6, 7–6.
Cornell (24–4, 6–0) captured a share of its first ever men’s tennis title on Sunday with a 4–3 victory over Princeton.
The Bulldogs will face Brown for its season finale at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center this Saturday afternoon.