April 28, 2012

No. 58 Brown Drops Yale in Season Finale, 5-2

Hoffman Finishes Season Undefeated in Ivy League Play

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Yale men's tennis team battled hard but ultimately came up short in its final match of the season Saturday, falling to No. 58 Brown, 5-2.  Playing at Brown, the Bulldogs managed to cap off a strong doubles season by winning the doubles point, but the Bears proved too strong in singles play and scored victories in five of the six positions.

Yale (13-11, 2-5 Ivy League) started off its season finale by securing the doubles point.  At No. 2 doubles, senior captain Erik Blumenkranz and classmate Joel Samaha, playing in their final career match as a team, got the Bulldogs off to a quick start with an 8-4 win.  Brown was able to level, however, when its No. 3 doubles team of Sam Fife and William Spector edged the Elis' No. 3 team of sophomore Patrick Chase and freshman Daniel Faierman, 9-7.   At No. 1 doubles, Yale's nationally ranked No. 85 team of juniors Daniel Hoffman and Marc Powers came into its final match with a 16-4 record.  The duo stayed true to its recent form and snatched the doubles point for Yale with a hard-fought 8-6 victory.  In addition to finishing the season with a 17-4 record, Hoffman and Powers also finish with a 5-2 Ivy League record, which is the best record of any Ivy League No. 1 doubles team, along with Columbia's No. 1 team of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur.    

In singles, Brown quickly evened the match as Daniel Hirschberg defeated Yale junior Zachary Dean at the No. 5 position, 6-0, 6-3.  The Bears then took the lead when William Spector, at the No. 2 spot, ended Powers' season with a 6-1, 6-4 win.  Hoffman, replacing an injured John Huang at No. 1 singles, got the Bulldogs back on even terms with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Brandon Burke.  With the win, Hoffman puts the finishing touches on an undefeated Ivy League season (7-0) in which he won four deciding sets and clinched the Bulldogs' upset of No. 42 Columbia.  Soon after Hoffman's win, however, the Bears regained control once more when Michael Riechmann defeated Yale sophomore Kyle Dawson, 7-5, 6-3.  At No. 3 singles, Blumenkranz fought hard but ultimately finished his Yale career with a tough 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 loss to Brown's Sam Fife.  Fife's win clinched the overall victory for the Bears.  If Yale's penultimate singles match offered a glimpse of Yale's past glory in Blumenkranz, then Yale's final singles match of the season offered a glimpse of Yale's bright future in freshman Zachary Krumholz.  The day was not to be his, however, as he fell to the Bears' Tom Deighton, 6-0, 3-6, 6-2. 

Brown (17-7, 3-4 Ivy League) finishes its season with an 11-1 record at home.  The win also propels the Bears to a three-way tie for fourth place in the Ivy League standings along with No. 72 Cornell and Princeton.

Also on Saturday, No. 23 Harvard narrowly defeated No. 49 Dartmouth 4-3 to clinch the 2012 Ivy League title.

Despite the loss, Yale finishes its season with an overall winning record, which is an improvement on last season's 9-13 record.  Of the 24 matches the Bulldogs played this season, they won the doubles point in 17 of them, and were only swept once in doubles by No. 10 Stanford.  The doubles team of Hoffman and Powers was ranked as high as No. 67 this season.  In singles, Hoffman and Huang posted impressive individual records, and both strung together long winning streaks at one time or another throughout the season.  Hoffman and Powers both acquired national rankings, with Hoffman peaking at No. 108, and Powers climbing as high as No. 62.  The Elis also did not suffer a single 7-0 or 6-1 loss all season.   

"I was very proud of the guys all year, [especially] in terms of work ethic," said Alex Dorato, Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

Doubles

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

1. No. 85 Hoffman/Powers (Yale) def. Soufiane Azargui/Burke (Brown), 8-6

2. Blumenkranz/Joel Samaha (Yale) def. Deighton/Riechmann (Brown), 8-4

3. Fife/Spector (Brown) def. Patrick Chase/Daniel Faierman (Yale), 9-7

Singles

Order of Finish: 5, 2, 1, 4, 3*, 6

1. Daniel Hoffman (Yale) def. Brandon Burke (Brown), 7-6, 6-2

2. William Spector (Brown) def. Marc Powers (Yale), 6-1, 6-4

3. Sam Fife (Brown) def. Erik Blumenkranz (Yale), 6-7, 7-5, 6-2

4. Michael Riechmann (Brown) def. Kyle Dawson (Yale), 7-5, 6-3

5. Daniel Hirschberg (Brown) def. Zachary Dean (Yale), 6-0, 6-3

6. Tom Deighton (Brown) def. Zachary Krumholz (Yale), 6-0, 3-6, 6-2