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USC Upstate Downs Bulldogs, 6-1

Joel Samaha. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Joel Samaha. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Yale men’s tennis team hung tough with USC Upstate in every match on Tuesday, taking every singles match to a deciding third set and pushing all three doubles contests to an 8-6 final tally. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it was the host Spartans would came up on the winning side of all but one of those matches en route to a 6-1 victory. Sophomore Joel Samaha won his singles match at the No. 6 slot for Yale.

At No. 1 singles, Marc Powers battled back from a 6-4 loss in set one against Edgar Rodriguez, staying alive with a 6-3 win in set two. Rodriguez would edge Powers in the tightly-contested third set, 7-6, to win the match for the Spartans.

John Huang had a similar fate at No. 2 singles, dropping a pair of tight 7-5, 7-5 frames after winning the first set, 6-3. Calvin Bennett and Connor Dawson also won the first set in their matches before ultimately falling to their opponents, while Daniel Hoffman staved off defeat at No. 4 singles with a rally in set two before falling to the Sparans’ Jack Roux.

Samaha’s win for Yale started with a 6-2 win in set one, before USC Upstate’s Marcos Liconir took the second set, 6-3. Samaha fought back to win the deciding set by a convincing 6-1 margin.

The Bulldogs, now 9-5 in the spring season, will return to New Haven to kick off a three-match homestand with a 2 p.m. match against Boston College on March 21.


  1. Tori/Aivaldi (U) d. Samaha/Blumenkranz 8-6
  2. Linconir/Roux (U) d. Bennett/Powers 8-6
  3. Blanco/Rodriguez (U) d. Dawson/Hoffman 8-6


  1. Edgar Rodriguez (U) d. Marc Powers (Y) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
  2. Renzo Airaldi (U) d. John Huang 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
  3. Javier Tori (U) d. Calvin Bennett 6-1, 6-7, 6-3
  4. Jack Roux (U) d.  Daniel Hoffman 7-6, 0-6, 6-2
  5. Ramiro Blanco (U) d. Connor Dawson 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
  6. Joel Samaha (Y) d. Marcos Liconir 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

 report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity