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Yale Displays Talent on First Day of Princeton-Farnsworth Invitational

Kyle Dawson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kyle Dawson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Brown, Chase, Dawson and Dean Still Alive in Singles; Bulldogs Go Undefeated in Doubles

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale men's tennis team had a successful first day of competition on Friday at its first event of the season, the Princeton-Farnsworth Invitational.   In a tournament which features competition from 13 other schools, including four in the Ivy League, the Bulldogs fielded players in all six singles draw and all three doubles draws.  Almost every Yale player participating in singles competition won at least one match, while the Elis' doubles teams went undefeated on the day. 

Each singles draw featured 16 players and was designated a name associated with Princeton tennis.  The Jadwin singles draw featured both of Yale's freshmen, Jason Brown and Martin Svenning.  Brown got his Yale career off to a sizzling start with a hard-fought win against Binghamton's Alexander Maisin, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.  He then comfortably defeated Michael McGinnis of Boston College 6-3, 6-1 to earn a berth in the semifinals.  Svenning also tasted victory in his first college tennis match with a win over Penn's Austin Kaplan, 6-4, 6-4.  He was unable to replicate this success in his quarterfinal match, however, falling to Columbia's Eric Rubin, 6-1, 6-2. 

Junior Kyle Dawson, playing in the Lenz draw, proved to be a master of double duty, as he beat Billy Grokenberger of Boston College in his first match, 7-5, 6-1, and then fought off a comeback by Bucknell's Evan Zimmer in the quarterfinal round to move on to the semifinals, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1. 

Friday turned out to be a frustrating day for two of Yale's veteran players who took part in the Tiger singles draw.  Senior John Huang won the first set of match against Penn's Jeremy Court, but was forced to retire from the match late in the second set due to injury.  Huang subsequently withdrew from his consolation match due to this injury.  Huang's classmate, Marc Powers, also experienced an untimely injury.  He rolled to victory in his opening match against Penn State's CJ Griffin, 6-0, 6-3, but was unable to finish his quarterfinal match against Columbia's Winston Lin, retiring midway through the third set.

Senior captain Daniel Hoffman, playing in the Cordish draw, picked up where he left off last year with a win against Georgetown's Reese Milner, 7-5, 7-6(1).  He then suffered his first loss since last season's St. John's match when he fell to Princeton's Matt Spindler in the quarterfinals, 1-6, 6-1, 6-1. 

In the Pagoda draw, sophomore Matt Saiontz also went the distance in his opening match.  After narrowly winning the second set, he was able to pull away from Boston College's Matt Wagner in the third set to advance by a score of 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.  In the quarterfinals, Saiontz, who was the only Bulldog to play two three-set matches on the day, lost to Princeton's Michael Katz, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.  Saiontz was actually the second Yale player Katz defeated Friday, as Katz had previously defeated junior Patrick Chase in an opening round match, 6-3, 6-4.  Chase was able to overcome this loss, however, by winning his first match in the consolation draw against Wagner, 6-1, 6-2.  With the victory, Chase moves on to the semifinals of the consolation draw. 

The Nassau draw also contained two Bulldogs, senior Zachary Dean and sophomore Daniel Faierman.  Dean beat Kyle Childress of Boston College 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.  Faierman also won his first round match, defeating Brendan Henry of Wake Forest, 6-0, 6-4.  He then lost a close match to Penn's Sylvester Wee, 6-4, 7-5.

One of last season's main themes was the Bulldogs' consistently strong doubles showing.  If the first day of the Princeton-Farnsworth Invitational is any indication, that theme will continue this year.  All four Yale doubles teams in action Friday won their matches, with none of teams dropping more than three games.  In the 'A' doubles draw, the formidable senior duo of Hoffman and Powers beat Cornell's team of Sam Fleck and Alex Wilton, 8-3.  Elsewhere in this draw, Chase and Huang teamed up to defeat the Penn State team of Matt Barry and CJ Griffin, 8-2.  In the 'B' doubles draw, the all-sophomore tandem of Faierman and Saiontz overcame Penn State's pairing of Ramy Labna and Chris Young, 8-3.  Finally, in the 'C' doubles draw, Dawson and Dean defeated Farleigh Dickinson's Dom Devaux-Lovell and Yuri Gricheno, 8-2.

Singles and doubles competition is set to continue at Princeton's Lenz Tennis Center on Saturday at 9 a.m.  Plenty of action is still in store for Yale, with Brown and Dawson playing in the semifinals of their respective singles draws, Dean playing in his quarterfinal match and Chase looking to move on to the final of the Pagoda consolation draw.  In the doubles 'B' draw, Brown and Svenning will get their Yale doubles career underway with a first round match against Binghamton's team of Rubin Haggai and Robin Lesage.  Yale's four other doubles teams will be playing in their quarterfinal matches in their respective draws.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity