Yale Falls to Tulsa in Nail-Biter

Dylan King. Photo by Steve Musco.
Dylan King. Photo by Steve Musco.

Andrienko, King Win in Singles; Bulldogs Shine in Doubles as Yale Falls to Tulsa 4-3

COLUMBUS, OH – The Yale men's tennis team played its second match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Sunday, taking on Tulsa at Ohio State's Varsity Tennis Center. In a hard-fought matchup that featured several marathon singles matches, the Bulldogs did many things well: in addition to sweeping the doubles round, two players – Fedor Andrienko and Dylan King – notched straight-set singles victories. However, it was ultimately the opposition who came away with a narrow 4-3 win after Tulsa's Lucca Baptista edged Yale's Ryan Cheng in a three-set battle.

Sunday's match began on the right foot in doubles, as the Elis asserted themselves immediately. At the No. 2 position, Yale's Cheng and King dictated play to win 6-0 over Tulsa's Louis Corker and Joshua Goodger; this result improved the sophomore duo's record on the season to an undefeated 3-0. Yale's No. 3 team Andrew Heller and Ziqi Wang finished soon after, winning in similarly convincing fashion, 6-2, over Tulsa's Baptista and Boriss Kamdem. 

After such a dominant showing in doubles, the Bulldogs headed into singles play with all the momentum. Andrienko kept the ball rolling with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-0 victory over Kamdem at No. 6 singles; King then built Yale's match lead to 3-0 after notching a 6-3, 6-2 win over Corker at the No. 5 spot. Tulsa responded strongly, however, by earning victories at No. 1 and No. 2 singles.

With the score 3-2 in Yale's favor, the remaining two matches went down to the wire. At No. 3 singles, senior captain Stefan Doehler nearly fought his way to a third set before falling to Tulsa's Jarod Hing in a 7-5, 7-6(5) battle. With the score knotted at 3-3, Cheng found himself in a tight third set against Tulsa's Baptista at the No. 4 spot; although the score reached 5-5 and tensions ran high, it was ultimately the Tulsa player who pulled away to earn a 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory. 

Although the Elis will be disappointed to have come just a handful of points short of victory on Sunday, they can take pride in the fact that they went toe-to-toe with an elite team like Tulsa, which has two nationally ranked singles players in its starting lineup. So, despite going 0-2 over the weekend, Yale gained valuable experience against a pair of top teams. 

The Bulldogs will return to action on Feb. 16 to compete in the annual ECAC Indoor Championships.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity

FULL MATCH RESULTS – Tulsa 4, Yale 3

Singles

1. #82 Joshua Goodger (TLSM) def. Andrew Heller (YALE) 6-3, 6-4

2. #56 Majed Kilani (TLSM) def. Ziqi Wang (YALE) 6-2, 7-6

3. Jarod Hing (TLSM) def. Stefan Doehler (YALE) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)

4. Lucca Baptista (TLSM) def. Ryan Cheng (YALE) 1-6, 6-4, 7-5

5. Dylan King (YALE) def. Louis Corker (TLSM) 6-3, 6-2

6. Fedor Andrienko (YALE) def. Boriss Kamdem (TLSM) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles

1. Jarod Hing/Majed Kilani (TLSM) vs. #50 Fedor Andrienko/Stefan Doehler (YALE) 4-4, unfinished

2. Dylan King/Ryan Cheng (YALE) def. Louis Corker/Joshua Goodger (TLSM) 6-0

3. Ziqi Wang/Andrew Heller (YALE) def. Lucca Baptista/Boriss Kamdem (TLSM) 6-2