Cornell Rallies to Beat Yale, 4-3

John Huang. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
John Huang. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Huang Now on Nine-Match Winning Streak

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team was unable to make it a perfect weekend at home as they came up short against Cornell on Sunday in another match that lasted nearly five hours.  The Bulldogs managed to sweep the doubles matches, but the Big Red came back to win four singles matches to take its first Ivy League victory this season, 4-3.

With the loss, Yale (13-8, 2-2 Ivy League) posts a weekend of mixed results, having upset No. 37 Columbia on Saturday.  The Bulldogs also fall to a 6-2 record when playing at home. 

The Elis started the day by winning the doubles point for the eighth time in their last nine matches.  At No. 1 doubles, the nationally ranked No. 80 team of juniors Daniel Hoffman and Marc Powers improved to a 14-4 season record with an 8-2 win.  Yale's No. 2 team of sophomore Patrick Chase and junior John Huang quickly followed suit and clinched the point with an 8-1 win.  Yale's No. 3 team of senior captain Erik Blumenkranz and classmate Joel Samaha then won 8-6 to complete the sweep and put the Bulldogs in command going into singles play.

At the No. 1 spot, Huang swiftly extended the Bulldogs' lead with a stunning display of power and consistency to overcome Cornell's Venkat Iyer, 6-2, 6-1.  Huang is still undefeated at home and is currently on a nine-match winning streak without the loss of a set.  At No. 5 singles, the Big Red got on the board when Alex Sidney beat Yale sophomore Kyle Dawson 6-4, 6-1.  After a rain delay of about 30 minutes, Sam Fleck of Cornell evened the match with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Powers at the No. 2 position.  The Big Red's No. 6 player, Quoc-Daniel Nguyen, then put Cornell in the lead for the first time with a tense 6-3, 7-5 win over Yale freshman Zachary Krumholz.  When this match ended, the No. 4 and No. 3 singles matches were still in action, with Yale's No. 4 Blumenkranz in a third set against Cornell's Jason Luu.  Blumenkranz had stormed back to win the second set after dropping the first in a tiebreaker.  Blumenkranz called for the trainer, however, midway through the third set, and appeared to be playing slightly injured as he eventually succumbed to Luu's steady play 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.  Though Cornell clinched with this win, Hoffman managed to salvage a win at the No. 3 position with a hard-fought 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 (7) win over Danny Riggs. 

With the win, Cornell (8-15, 1-4 Ivy League) breaks a seven-match losing streak and gets its first Ivy League victory of the season.  The Big Red plays its final two Ivy League matches against Penn and Princeton next Friday and Sunday, respectively. 

When asked to assess the tough loss, Hoffman said, "We came out good in doubles, [but] in singles, the balls didn't bounce our way."

The Bulldogs travel on Friday to play perennial rival Harvard at 12 p.m. at the Beren Tennis Center.  The Elis then play their final match at home against No. 62 Dartmouth on Sunday at 2 p.m.  To keep an Ivy League title in its sights, Yale will most likely have to remain undefeated for the rest of the season.

"We can't afford to lose another match," affirmed Alex Dorato, Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

 Position  Yale University  Cornell University  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  John Huang  Venkat Iyer  Yale University  6-2, 6-1
 #2 Singles  Marc Powers  Sam Fleck  Cornell University  6-3, 6-1
 #3 Singles  Daniel Hoffman  Danny Riggs  Yale University  7-6, 4-6, 1-0 (7)
 #4 Singles  Erik Blumenkranz  Jason Luu  Cornell University  7-6, 3-6, 6-3
 #5 Singles  Kyle Dawson  Alex Sidney  Cornell University  6-4, 6-1
 #6 Singles  Zach Krumholz  Quoc-Daniel Nguyen  Cornell University  6-3, 7-5
 #1 Doubles  #80Daniel Hoffman
 Marc Powers
 Jason Luu
 Sam Fleck
 Yale University  8-2
 #2 Doubles  John Huang
 Patrick Chase
 Venkat Iyer
 Danny Riggs
 Yale University  8-1
 #3 Doubles  Erik Blumenkranz
 Joel Samaha
 Alex Sidney
 Quoc-Daniel Nguyen
 Yale University  8-6