Bulldogs Fall to Highly-Ranked Dartmouth in Hard-Fought Conference Opener

Captain Stefan Doehler.
Captain Stefan Doehler.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Despite a tough 5-2 loss to No. 33 Dartmouth in its first match of the Ivy League season, Yale showed encouraging signs. With many of the matchups proving to be competitive, this match showed that the Bulldogs can hold their own against top-ranked opponents, offering hope for the rest of the season.

Yale suffered difficult losses early, with No. 1 doubles Fedor Andrienko and Stefan Doehler falling 6-1 to Dartmouth's Charlie Broom and David Horneffer and No. 2 doubles Dylan King and Ryan Cheng losing 6-3 to Casey Ross and Roko Glasnovic. These matches displayed promise for future matches, however, as Broom and Horneffer are the 49th highest-ranked doubles pair in the nation. Moreover, King and Cheng stayed with Ross and Glasnovic for much of the match, with the score tied at 3-3 at one point. After Dartmouth clinched the doubles point, Andrew Heller and Ziqi Wang had their close 3-4 match at the No. 3 spot cut short.

Rebounding in singles, the Elis showed their ability to compete with two strong wins. Senior Andrienko cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Dartmouth's Ciro Riccardi at No. 5 singles and Wang set a decisive tone at the No. 4 spot with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Max Fliegner. Even in the losses, there were a lot of positives to draw from the Bulldogs' performances. Heller showed flashes of dominance at the No. 2 spot before eventually falling 3-6, 7-5, 13-11 to David Horneffer after two thrilling tiebreakers. Because Dartmouth had already clinched the match 4-2 at the end of Heller's second set, the third set was replaced by a match tiebreaker. In a similarly back-and-forth match, No. 3 singles Stefan Doehler launched a strong second-set comeback in his eventual 6-3, 7-6 defeat at the hands of Dartmouth's Dan Martin. 

Doehler's match was the deciding point; prior to his tiebreak loss, Dartmouth was leading 3-2 with the Elis mounting a seeming comeback. While Yale's loss marks a disappointing beginning to the Ivy League season, the Bulldogs have a chance to rebound against No. 28 Harvard on Sunday in Cambridge. Harvard recently topped Dartmouth 4-0, so Yale will need to be on the top of its game to avoid an early 0-2 conference start. Beginning league play with such strong competition will prepare Yale for later-season efforts, however, and the Bulldogs will have a great opportunity to demonstrate their strength as a team on Sunday.

Report by Kiran Damodaran '21, Yale Sports Publicity

 

FULL MATCH RESULTS - Yale 2, Dartmouth 5

Position  Yale University  Dartmouth College  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Dylan King  Charlie Broom  Dartmouth College  6-3, 6-3
 #2 Singles  Andrew Heller  David Horneffer  Dartmouth College  3-6, 7-5, 1-0
 #3 Singles  Stefan Doehler  Dan Martin  Dartmouth College  6-3, 7-6
 #4 Singles  Ziqi Wang  Max Fliegner  Yale University  6-3, 6-1
 #5 Singles  Fedor Andrienko  Ciro Riccardi  Yale University  6-3, 6-3
 #6 Singles  Ryan Cheng  Peter Conklin  Dartmouth College  6-2, 6-4
 #1 Doubles  Fedor Andrienko 
 Stefan Doehler
 #55 David Horneffer 
 Charlie Broom
 Dartmouth College  6-1
 #2 Doubles  Ryan Cheng 
 Dylan King
 Roko Glasnovic 
 Casey Ross
 Dartmouth College  6-3
 #3 Doubles  Ziqi Wang 
 Andrew Heller
 Max Fliegner 
 Peter Conklin
 Unfinished  DNF