After defeating No. 61 George Washington 4–1 in the opening round of the 2015 ECAC Championship last Friday, the Yale men’s tennis team was blanked 4-0 by Harvard the following day in the quarterfinals.
Yale entered the tournament as the ninth seed, one place behind George Washington. But the Bulldogs were able to successfully secure the doubles point at the outset of the match. The No. 2 doubles pair of Fedor Andrienko ’18 and Stefan Doehler ’18 and the No. 3 doubles pair of Tyler Lu ’17 and Alex Hagermoser ’17 both posted wins by two-point margins.
“We played really solid. We got the doubles point, which is huge for us. We have really been working on improving our doubles in practice,” Daniel Faierman ’15 said. “That’s always big because we have a lot of confidence in our abilities in singles.”
Faierman, who competed at the No. 4 spot in singles competition, clinched the win for the Bulldogs with a 6–2, 5–7, 6–4 victory over George Washington’s Cahit Kapukiran. Under the ECAC Championship rulebook, once a team reaches four points, the match is clinched and play stops.
The freshmen trio of Andrienko, Doehler and Ziqi Wang ’18 also performed well for the Elis. Wang did not complete his match, but was battling in his third set while teammates Doehler and Andrienko both came out with wins to hit the four-point match-ending mark. Andrienko won his first set 7–6 in a tiebreaker that ended 7–2.
After going up 6–3, Lu lost the No. 1 singles match to George Washington’s Danil Zelenkov 6–3, 4–6, 3–6 to provide the Colonials with their lone point of the match.
“The win over George Washington was a really good win for our team. We all played really well against them, even in the matches that we didn’t finish,” Wang said.
The victory over the Colonials advanced Yale into the quarterfinal round of the ECAC Championship.
The next day, though, did not end as well. Yale traveled to Cambridge on Saturday to face Ivy League rival and No. 30 Harvard in the tournament. The Crimson defeated the Bulldogs 4–0 after gaining the double point and sweeping the completed singles matches. However, the competition does not affect the Ivy League standings.
Because Harvard at already reached four points, the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches remained unfinished. Lu split his sets with the No. 91 ranked player in Division I tennis, Harvard’s Denis Nguyen.
“It’s good to see the level of competition that we will be facing heading into Ivy League play, especially for the freshmen,” Faierman said. “We can play ranked teams, but there is a different intensity when we play Ivy League opponents. It is a different feeling and experience.”
Next weekend, the men’s tennis team will face William and Mary and Old Dominion in two away contests.