Yale Falls to No. 72 Utah in Final Match of California Tour

Ziqi Wang (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)
Ziqi Wang (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)

Yale Freshmen Doehler, Wang Net Victories in Hard Fought 5-2 Loss to Utes

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Yale men's tennis team concluded its trip to California with a match against No. 72 Utah on Thursday at the Barnes Tennis Center, marking one of the few times this season the team has come up against a nationally ranked opponent. Heading into Thursday's match off the heels of a tight 4-3 victory over a strong Portland squad, the Bulldogs were looking to notch another statement victory against a similarly tough team in the 9 – 6 Utes. Due to injury issues and strong play from Utah, however, the Elis fell short in a match that featured several competitive three set singles matches.

Utah took the initiative from the outset with its No. 1 doubles team of Cedric Willems and Matt Cowley (9-3 on the season) proving too experienced for Yale's freshman duo Fedor Andrienko and Stefan Doehler. Although the Elis bounced back at No. 3 doubles with a strong 6-3 performance by senior Daniel Faierman and sophomore Photos Photiades, Utah's No. 2 doubles team responded quickly with a decisive 6-2 victory to take a one point lead into the singles round.

Health issues emerged as an unfortunate storyline in the singles round. First, Yale's No. 2 singles player Martin Svenning, who would have liked to continue his recent form (4-1 in last five matches), was forced to retire in the second set against Utah's Parker McGuiness; and at No. 3 singles, Utah's Freddie McGeehan also retired after Doehler established a 7-5, 3-0 lead. The remaining matches, however, were contested to the finish. At the lower end of the bulldogs' singles lineup, Faierman and sophomore Alex Hagermoser battled against tough competition, with Faierman dropping a 6-2 third set and Hagermoser losing 6-4, 6-3. Although Yale had already conceded four points on the day, freshman Ziqi Wang persevered and put the Elis' young talent on display yet again with an impressive 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 comeback win in the No. 4 singles position. What was a long day finally came to an end with Utah's Willems posting a three set victory over Yale's Tyler Lu at No. 1 singles.

Although the bulldogs posted mixed results in California with a 1 – 2 record, they return having gained valuable experience against nationally ranked teams and now know they can match such competition blow-for-blow. This mindset is especially important considering the Ivy League season begins soon, on Apr. 4.

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity

Match Results

No. 72 Utah 5, Yale 2
1. Cedric Willems (UTAH) def. Tyler Lu (YALE), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
2. Parker McGuiness (UTAH) def. Martin Svenning (YALE), 6-4, 3-0 ret.
3. Stefan Doehler (YALE) def. 
Freddie McGeehan (UTAH), 7-5, 3-0 ret.
4. Ziqi Wang (YALE) def. 
Matt Cowley (UTAH), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Santiago Sierra (UTAH) def. Daniel Faierman (YALE), 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
Johan Jonhagen (UTAH) def. Alex Hagermoser (YALE), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2,3,6,5,4,1

1. Willems/Cowley (UTAH) def. Fredor Andrienko/Doehler (YALE), 6-3
2. McGuiness/Jamey Swiggart (UTAH) def. Lu/Hagermoser (YALE), 6-2
3. Faierman/Photos Photiades (YALE) def. Jonhagen/Sierra (UTAH), 6-3
Order of Finish: 1,3,2