February 9, 2013

Yale Stages Spirited Comeback to Defeat UAB, 4-3

Senior Class Leads the Way, Dean Clinches

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Yale men's tennis team faced an uphill battle for the first time this season against Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday afternoon at the Nashboro Village Athletic Club, but thanks to some clutch play by the Bulldogs' veteran members, they managed to overcome a resilient Alabama-Birmingham squad, 4-3.  After losing the doubles point, the Elis made a strong comeback in singles to keep their winning streak intact.

Saturday's match saw a clash of two teams with high-caliber doubles lineups.  While Yale (4-0) had secured the doubles point in its first three matches of the season, Alabama-Birmingham (2-6) had won the doubles point in its match against No. 45 Alabama on Wednesday.  Indeed, all three doubles matches at the Nashboro Village Athletic Club turned out to be highly competitive affairs.  Alabama-Birmingham was able to tilt the balance in its favor, however, to put itself three singles wins away from victory.

The Bulldogs were not prepared to yield to defeat, though, and all four members of its senior class rose to the occasion to pull their team through to a resounding triumph.  At No.1 singles, senior John Huang eased past David Zimmerman, 6-2, 6-3.  Playing at the No. 2 spot, senior Marc Powers used his powerful baseline game and experience to post a crucial win against Tom Puetz, 7-6, 6-4.  Captain Daniel Hoffman, at No. 3, backed up his classmates' wins with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Rafael Rondino.  Meanwhile, freshman Jason Brown, at the No. 4 position, suffered the second defeat of his rookie year, falling to Chris Helliar, 7-5, 6-2. 

Alabama-Birmingham managed to tie the score up at 3-3 when Lucas Dirube defeated sophomore Zachary Krumholz at the No. 5 singles spot, which meant that the ongoing tussle at No. 6 singles between senior Zachary Dean and Luiz Pinto would determine the overall winner.  Staying true to the form of his fellow senior class teammates, Dean stepped it up when it really mattered to defeat Pinto in two tight sets, 7-6, 7-5, to clinch Yale's fourth consecutive victory. 

The Bulldogs will look to maintain their perfect start to the season when they return to the Nashville Village Athletic Club Sunday morning to take on No. 43 Middle Tennessee State at 10:00 a.m. CST.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

 

Position

 Yale University

 UAB

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 John Huang

 David Zimmerman

 Yale University

 6-2, 6-3

 #2 Singles

 Marc Powers

 Tom Puetz

 Yale University

 7-6, 6-4

 #3 Singles

 Daniel Hoffman

 Rafael Rondino

 Yale University

 6-3, 6-3

 #4 Singles

 Jason Brown

 Chris Helliar

 UAB

 7-5, 6-2

 #5 Singles

 Zach Krumholz

 Lucas Dirube

 UAB

 6-4, 6-2

 #6 Singles

 Zach Dean

 Luiz Pinto

 Yale University

 7-6, 7-5

 #1 Doubles

 #19Daniel Hoffman
 Marc Powers

 Tom Puetz
 David Zimmerman

 UAB

 8-6

 #2 Doubles

 John Huang
 Patrick Chase

 Chris Helliar
 Lucas Dirube

 Unfinished

 7-6,30-40

 #3 Doubles

 Zach Dean
 Matt Saiontz

 Rafael Rondino
 Luiz Pinto

 UAB

 8-4