No. 50 Yale Off to Cracking Start in North Carolina, Bests Illinois State 6-1

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Matt Saiontz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Elis Now Undefeated through Six Consecutive Matches

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Yale men's tennis team got its spring break trip to the Tar Heel State off to the best possible start Wednesday with a solid 6-1 victory over Illinois State.  Playing at a neutral site, the home courts of UNC Wilmington, No. 50 Yale (10-2, 0-0 Ivy) scored a pair of crucial wins in doubles before sealing the win with a slew of relatively straightforward singles victories.

With twelve matches played and twelve matches to go in the season, this triumph over a game Redbird squad marks the halfway point in the spring season for the Bulldogs.  With a 10-2 record so far, this 2012-13 team, captained by senior Daniel Hoffman, unequivocally holds the best record through the first half of the season of any squad in Yale's recent history.  The talented and successful 2009-10 team posted a 9-3 win-loss mark through twelve matches.  Wednesday's win also gives the Elis their seventh 7-0 or 6-1 win of the season.  The Bulldogs are now on a six-match winning streak, which includes wins both at home and on neutral surfaces. 

The doubles matches all turned out to be exciting affairs, and it was Yale's ability to play well under pressure that made the pivotal difference to give the Bulldogs a lead going into singles play.  Drawing upon its experience, the veteran duo of Hoffman and senior Marc Powers lived up to its ranking of No. 59 to defeat Muddappa Appanervanda and Alexander Pelaez 8-6.  At No. 3 doubles, the Bulldog tandem of senior Zachary Dean and sophomore Matt Saiontz toughed out a win over Jakub Eisner and Michael Sellitto by the same score to secure the doubles point.

Yale carried its momentum into singles, with senior John Huang leading the way with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Pelaez.  Powers lived up to his billing as the Elis' No. 2 player with a comprehensive 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Eisner to improve his winning streak to seven matches.  Impressively, Powers has won the last ten sets he has contested.  Freshman Martin Svenning and sophomore Zachary Krumholz, playing at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively, rolled in their matches, each dropping only four games.  Dean, meanwhile, edged out a thriller at No. 6 singles, battling through the decisive super tiebreaker to seal a confidence-boosting 6-0, 6-7, 1-0 (11) victory. 

Illinois State (5-7, 0-0 MVC) drops its fourth match in a row, but will quickly get a chance to regroup when it takes on No. 55 Old Dominion on Friday. 

Yale's week in Wilmington, N.C., continues Thursday with a match against UNC Wilmington (8-4, 0-0 CAA) at 2:00 p.m.  Interestingly, though this 2012-13 team strung together a win-loss record superior to that of the 2009-10 squad through twelve matches, the current team, in its match against UNC Wilmington, will attempt to equal the seven-match winning streak that the 2009-10 squad posted three seasons ago.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

Position  Yale University  Illinois State University  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  John Huang  Alexander Pelaez  Yale University  6-1, 6-3
 #2 Singles  Marc Powers  Jakub Eisner  Yale University  6-0, 6-1
 #3 Singles  Daniel Hoffman  Rolondo Torrellas  Illinois State University  7-6, 6-3
 #4 Singles  Martin Svenning  Muddappa Appanervanda  Yale University  6-2, 6-2
 #5 Singles  Zach Krumholz  Jacob Wilson  Yale University  6-1, 6-3
 #6 Singles  Zach Dean  Rodrigo Oliveira  Yale University  6-0, 6-7, 1-0 (11)
 #1 Doubles  #59Daniel Hoffman
 Marc Powers
 Muddappa Appanervanda
 Alexander Pelaez
 Yale University  8-6
 #2 Doubles  John Huang
 Patrick Chase
 Rodrigo Oliveira
 Rolondo Torrellas
 Unfinished  7-6, DNF
 #3 Doubles  Zach Dean
 Matt Saiontz
 Jakub Eisner
 Michael Sellitto
 Yale University  8-6