Yale's Doehler and Hagermoser Upset Two Seeded Teams, Advance to Doubles Semifinal of ITA Northeast Regionals
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Four members of the Yale men's tennis team played their fourth straight day of tennis on Sunday, taking on doubles and singles competition in Philadelphia at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships. The Elis had done extremely well over the past few days to make it to the later rounds of such an elite event, and the players who remained on Sunday truly represented the best that the Northeast region has to offer. Despite such tough opposition, veteran doubles pairing Stefan Doehler and Alex Hagermoser managed to provide several highlights on Sunday with a pair of thrilling victories.
Sunday's main draw singles action saw Yale's Dylan King and Tyler Lu both play Round of 16 matches. While King did well to push Columbia's Shawn Hadavi – the tournament's No. 1 seed and the No. 55 ranked singles player in the nation – the freshman ultimately fell short in a 7-5, 6-2 loss. This result snapped the Bulldog's seven-match win streak in singles, and brought his singles record on the year to 13-2. As for senior captain Tyler Lu, he played one of the tournament's most competitive matches against Cornell's Colin Sinclair on Sunday. After narrowly dropping the first set in a tiebreak, Lu bounced back to win the second 6-3; Sinclair, however, did well to pull away by a service break in the third and take the match 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. Still, Lu's performance on Sunday was impressive considering Sinclair's rise as one of the Ivy League's best players last season.
The most exciting storyline of the day, however, came in doubles. After cruising past a top-seeded Dartmouth team on Saturday, Yale's Doehler and Hagermoser faced yet another seeded team in their first match on Sunday. Despite the quality of their opponents – Columbia's Miguel Alda and Michal Rolski (both of whom start for the Lions) – the Yale duo held serve when it counted, and ultimately came away with a narrow 8-6 win. This result advanced them to the quarterfinals, guaranteeing a match against the tournament's No. 2 seed, Cornell's Sinclair and Volfson. Competing against arguably the strongest team in the Northeast region (Sinclair and Volfson posted a 5-2 Ivy League record at the No. 1 position last season), Doehler and Hagermoser were forced to elevate their game; and after over an hour of back-and-forth doubles action, the two teams found themselves in a tiebreak with the score tied 7-7. After a sequence of tense points in which both Yale players showed their remarkable composure, it was the Elis who emerged with the upset victory, earning a spot in Monday's semifinal match against Columbia's Richard and Victor Pham.
Sunday's thrilling tennis will continue tomorrow, with the doubles semifinal set to kick off at 9:00 a.m.; championship singles and doubles matches are scheduled for Tuesday.
Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity