Two nationally ranked members of the Yale men’s tennis team competed in hard-fought qualifying matches at the Intercollegiate Tennis Associations’s Men’s All-American Championships in Oklahoma on Tuesday.
Team captain Daniel Hoffman ’13 and John Huang ’13 both competed in the national championships at the University of Tulsa, which started Monday. They each lost two singles matches the first day and were unable to pull off a win as a doubles pair on Tuesday.
“It was definitely tough coming out here and playing the nation’s elite,” Huang said. “We don’t usually get to play many players outside of the Northeast so this was a special opportunity for us to play some really high caliber players.”
Hoffman, who is ranked No. 114 in the country, said both he and Huang faced very challenging first-round opponents. Hoffman was defeated by the nationally ranked No. 87 Rok Bonin of Minnesota in the first round of qualifying matches, 6–2, 6–3. In another tight match, Huang, ranked No. 113 nationally, was defeated by Tennessee’s Jarryd Chaplin, 6–4, 6–2.
The following day, the two Bulldogs played in their singles qualifying consolation matches against players from the No. 12 University of Florida. Both players struggled to keep a lead in the close matchand ended falling to the Gators.
“Our second-round consolation matches went a bit better,” Huang said. “Even though we both lost again unfortunately, we both felt like we played tough and had a lot if opportunities to win.”
As a doubles pair, the senior duo came across two skilled opponents. The Elis defeated a doubles pair from San Diego State, 8–3. Their next opponents, who came into the tournament with the No. 12 seed, narrowly defeated Hoffman and Huang, 9–7.
“It was great to get such high quality match exposure where everyone is talented and playing well,” Huang said. “Our doubles was also a lot of fun. We haven’t played together since freshmen year so it was nice to rekindle that.”
The tournament featured over 400 collegiate tennis players from around the nation.
“The trip was fun,” Hoffman said. “It was a good gauge as to where me and Huang are as players and the improvements that we can make to move forward this season.”
The Bulldogs will host Army and St Bonaventure at the Yale Shootout this weekend.
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