No. 54 Yale Bounces Back with Masterful Performance against Penn

Jason Brown. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jason Brown. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Win 7-0, Record Eighth Shutout of Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In what Alex Dorato, Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis, called the Elis' "best match of the season," the Yale men's tennis team summoned its top form in a 7-0 sweep of Penn (8-8, 0-3 Ivy).  Returning to play at their home courts less than 24 hours after a tough loss to No. 51 Princeton, the Bulldogs secured the doubles point before running away win the victory in singles. 

For No. 54 Yale (15-4, 1-1 Ivy), the triumph marks its first conference win and its eighth shutout of the season.  The Bulldogs also improve their record at home to 9-1, with six of those wins, including Sunday's victory against Penn, having been sweeps of the visiting team.  Sunday's win was all the more impressive considering the previous day's physically and emotionally draining loss to the Tigers.

Dorato praised his players for their resilient spirit, saying, "Everyone played and competed well.  I was particular pleased that we came back so strong after a heart-breaking loss yesterday, especially since we played in very tough conditions; strong winds, and cool temperatures."

Indeed, from the start, it was the Bulldogs who showed they could better cope with the tricky weather.  Yale ended a two-match slide of losing the doubles point with a pair of wins at the top two positions.  At No. 1 doubles, the senior duo of captain Daniel Hoffman and Marc Powers, ranked No. 74 in the country, proved too strong for Penn's No. 1 tandem of Nikola Kocovic and Mark Milbrandt, posting an 8-6 win.  The Bulldogs' No. 2 pairing of junior Patrick Chase and senior John Huang similarly put in a strong effort to overcome Austin Kaplan and Zack Katz, 8-5.

Yale carried its momentum into singles play, with all six players winning in straight sets.  Powers defeated Kocovic at No. 2 singles to remain undefeated in matches against Ancient Eight opponents this season, which includes wins over opponents from Brown and No. 18 Harvard in non-conference matches earlier this year.  Freshman Martin Svenning also remained perfect in league play with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win over Blaine Willenborg.  Hoffman got back on track after Saturday's narrow loss against his Princeton opponent with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Ismael Lahlou at No. 3 singles.  Huang, freshman Jason Brown and senior Zachary Dean all picked up wins as well to contribute to the shutout.  Brown was particularly impressive under pressure, edging out a close first set against Katz before rolling in the second set to record his first Ivy win.  

Given the quality of the Bulldogs' overall performance, Dorato was optimistic about his team's chances going forward in Ivy League play, saying, "Hopefully this [win] will give us confidence heading into next weekend to play two higher ranked teams on the road."

These two higher ranked teams are No. 48 Cornell (12-5, 1-1 Ivy) and No. 40 Columbia (11-7, 1-2 Ivy), both of whom Yale will face in away matches in one week's time.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity


Position  Yale University  University of Pennsylvania  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  John Huang  Jeremy Court  Yale University  6-4, 6-3
 #2 Singles  Marc Powers  Nikola Kocovic  Yale University  6-2, 7-6
 #3 Singles  Daniel Hoffman  Ismael Lahlou  Yale University  6-1, 6-2
 #4 Singles  Martin Svenning  Blaine Willenborg  Yale University  6-1, 6-2
 #5 Singles  Jason Brown  Zach Katz  Yale University  7-6, 6-2
 #6 Singles  Zach Dean  Austin Kaplan  Yale University  6-4, 6-2
 #1 Doubles  #74Daniel Hoffman
 Marc Powers
 Mark Milbrandt
 Nikola Kocovic
 Yale University  8-6
 #2 Doubles  John Huang
 Patrick Chase
 Austin Kaplan
 Zach Katz
 Yale University  8-5
 #3 Doubles  Martin Svenning
 Zach Dean
 Jeremy Court
 Blaine Willenborg
 Unfinished  6-7