Yale Victorious Over Penn in Ivy Opener, 5-2
Elis Remain Undefeated Against Unranked Opponents
PHILADELPHIA – The Yale men's tennis team got its Ivy League season off to the best possible start Saturday afternoon as they defeated Penn 5-2 at the Hamlin Tennis Center. The match was a close affair, but the Bulldogs were able to back up their doubles point with wins in the top four singles spots.
Despite playing outdoors in tricky windy conditions, Yale (12-6, 1-0 Ivy League) managed to bring its record in away matches to 7-5 and also maintains its undefeated record against unranked opponents this season. This is the second year in a row that Yale has defeated Penn to get its Ivy League season off to a winning start.
By winning two of the doubles matches, Yale extended its streak of winning the doubles point to six matches. Initially, however, it looked as though this streak was in danger of being snapped when the Quakers' No. 3 team of Jeremy Court and Zach Katz won 8-4 over Yale's No. 3 team of senior captain Erik Blumenkranz and fellow classmate Joel Samaha. At No. 1 doubles, the nationally ranked No. 67 team of juniors Daniel Hoffman and Marc Powers quickly got Yale on the board, however, with an 8-4 win. In doing so, the duo extended its winning streak to five matches and its season record to 13-2. Yale's No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Patrick Chase and junior John Huang then secured the doubles point with a tight 8-6 win.
Just as in doubles, Penn got on the board first in singles play when Court defeated Yale sophomore Kyle Dawson 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 5 spot. Yale's No. 2 player Huang then extended his winning streak to six straight matches with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Playing at No. 3, Hoffman, whose nine-match winning streak ended last weekend against No. 58 St. John's, got back to his winning ways with a 6-1, 6-4 victory. When Yale freshman Zachary Krumholz fell 7-5, 6-3 at No. 6 singles, Blumenkranz and Powers, ranked No. 118 nationally, had both just split sets against their Quaker opponents at the No. 4 and No. 1 spots, respectively. Blumenkranz was able to maintain his lead after an early break in the final set to clinch the overall victory for the Bulldogs with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win. Powers then finished off his opponent Ivan Turudic with a late break in the final set to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Penn (8-7) drops to 0-2 in Ivy League play. The Quakers will look for their first Ivy League win when they host Brown on Sunday.
Despite the win, the Bulldogs admitted that the match could have gone either way.
"It was a windy day, tricky conditions," said Samaha. "[A score of] 5-2 was not reflective of how close the match was."
"It was an important win [and] gives us momentum going into the match against Princeton," added Alex Dorato, Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis.
Princeton (11-8, 2-0 Ivy League) hosts Yale on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Tigers beat Yale 4-1 when the two Ancient Eight rivals faced off at the ECAC Indoor Championship in mid-February, but the Bulldogs have gone 8-4 since that match.
Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity
Order of Finish: 3,1,2
1. Hoffman/Powers (Yale) def. Kocovic/Turudic (Penn), 8-4
2. Huang/Patrick Chase (Yale) def. Wong/Jason Lin (Penn), 8-6
3. Katz/Court (Penn) def. Blumenkranz/Joel Samaha (Yale), 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 5, 3, 6, 4, 1
1. Marc Powers (Yale) def. Ivan Turudic (Penn), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
2. John Huang (Yale) def. Nikola Kocovic (Penn), 6-2, 6-1
3. Daniel Hoffman (Yale) def. Phil Law (Penn), 6-1, 6-4
4. Erik Blumenkranz (Yale) def. Rob Wong (Penn), 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
5. Jeremy Court (Penn) def. Kyle Dawson (Yale), 6-2, 6-2
6. Zach Katz (Penn) def. Zachary Krumholz (Yale), 7-5, 6-3