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Bulldogs Beat Furman to Finish Weekend Strong

Ziqi Wang (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Ziqi Wang (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

Yale Bounces Back From 4-3 Loss to Loyola Marymount, Beats Furman 4-2 to Conclude Weekend in West Point 

WEST POINT, NY – The Yale men's tennis team concluded its weekend in West Point with back-to-back strong performances against Furman and Loyola Marymount, improving its dual match record on the season to 4-1. Although the Bulldogs suffered a narrow 4-3 defeat to Loyola Marymount on Saturday night, they bounced back the following day to post their most impressive win of the year in a dominant 4-2 performance over Furman. Given that Furman had actually beaten Loyola Marymount on Saturday, the Elis will be glad to have finished their busy weekend on such a high note. This team is coming together at the right time, and looks poised to make a splash come the Ivy League season in March.

Yale's second match of the weekend against Loyola Marymount was a remarkably close affair, featuring four three-set singles matches decided by just a handful of points. Loyola Marymount established an early lead in doubles, taking two of three matches; Yale's No. 1 team Tyler Lu and Ziqi Wang notched the Bulldogs' lone doubles victory with a 6-1 rout of LMU's Nicholas Borchenko and Max Kaiser. LMU jumped out to an early lead in singles as well, with No. 6 player Alex Bourgeois downing Yale's Alex Hagermoser 7-5, 6-3. The Elis righted the ship soon after, however, with freshman Ryan Cheng holding on for a 6-2, 3-6, 10-3 victory over LMU's Luke Bohuslav at No. 4 singles. 

With the score 2-1 in the opposition's favor, Yale nearly leveled the score at No. 3 singles, where freshman Dylan King came up just a few points short in a tough 3-6, 7-6, 10-3 loss to LMU's Kaiser. Yale's Ziqi Wang responded with a three-set victory of his own, edging LMU's Lukas Moenter in a 10-6 super tiebreak at No. 2 singles; the senior captain Lu also came through in the clutch for the Bulldogs with a 6-7, 7-6, 14-12 marathon victory over LMU star Borchenko. This result marked Lu's second straight three-set victory and improved his singles record to 6-1 in his last seven matches. Having brought the match back to a 3-3 deadlock, the Elis looked like they might just pull off an incredible comeback victory; LMU's Gabriel Diaz Freire had other ideas, however, and closed out the match with a nail-biter 7-6, 7-5 victory over Yale's Andrew Heller at No. 5 singles.

Although Saturday's narrow defeat may have discouraged another team, the Bulldogs had the mental toughness and perspective to realize that their performance held a great number of positives on which to build. This mental toughness became clear in Sunday's clash with Furman, with top player Tyler Lu sidelined with injury and the opposition riding a three-match win streak (including an impressive 4-3 win over LMU). Despite these obstacles, Yale rose to the occasion and submitted a dominant performance in singles, with three of four singles victories coming in straight sets.

Yale's top performers on Sunday included Dennis Wang, who finished first in singles with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-3 win over Furman's Josh Pistorius at the No. 6 spot. The freshmen Cheng and King also secured decisive straight-set victories at No. 3 and No. 2 singles, respectively; these performances followed the freshman duo's strong 6-4 win over Furman's Cameron Green and Alex Steryous in the doubles round. Cheng and King appear to have established solid chemistry this season, as the pair have posted a 5-1 overall doubles record together.

With the score 3-2 in favor of the Elis, freshman Andrew Heller found himself in a high-stakes situation for the second straight day. The Bulldog remained unfazed by the pressure, however, and capitalized on an early lead to win his match against Furman's No. 4 player Alex Steryous 6-3, 2-6, 10-6. Sunday's clutch victory improved Heller's singles record on the season to 13-7. 

Following this past weekend's trio of matches, the Elis return home with a promising 4-1 dual match record. Yale's win over Furman, in particular, will go down as a major highlight of the 2016-17 campaign; although not based in the Northeast Region, Furman is certainly one of the strongest teams that the Bulldogs will face all season. Yale is set to take the court next on Feb. 17 as a participant in the Princeton-hosted ECAC Championships. 

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity

FULL MATCH RESULTS -- Loyola Marymount 4, Yale 3

Position  Yale University  Loyola Marymount University  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Tyler Lu  Nicholas Borchenko  Yale University  6-7,7-6,14-12
 #2 Singles  Ziqi Wang  Lukas Moenter  Yale University  4-6,6-0,10-6
 #3 Singles  Dylan King  Max Kaiser  Loyola Marymount University  3-6,7-6,10-3
 #4 Singles  Ryan Cheng  Luke Bohuslav  Yale University  6-2,3-6,10-3
 #5 Singles  Andrew Heller  Gabriel Diaz Freire  Loyola Marymount University  7-6,7-5
 #6 Singles  Alex Hagermoser  Alex Bourgeois  Loyola Marymount University  7-5,6-3
 #1 Doubles  Tyler Lu 
 Ziqi Wang
 Nicholas Borchenko 
 Max Kaiser
 Yale University  6-1
 #2 Doubles  Ryan Cheng 
 Dylan King
 Lukas Moenter 
 Gabriel Diaz Freire
 Loyola Marymount University  6-4
 #3 Doubles  Nathan Brown 
 Alex Hagermoser
 Luke Bohuslav 
 Ryan Brown
 Loyola Marymount University  6-4


FULL MATCH RESULTS -- Yale 4, Furman 2

Position  Yale University  Furman University  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Ziqi Wang  Adam Steryous  Unfinished  
 #2 Singles  Dylan King  Cameron Green  Yale University  6-2,6-3
 #3 Singles  Ryan Cheng  Clarke Wilson  Yale University  6-2,6-1
 #4 Singles  Andrew Heller  Alex Steryous  Yale University  6-3,2-6, 10-6
 #5 Singles  Alex Hagermoser  Jake Munns  Furman University  6-2,6-3
 #6 Singles  Dennis Wang  Josh Pistorius  Yale University  6-2,6-3
 #1 Doubles  Alex Hagermoser 
 Ziqi Wang
 Adam Steryous 
 Jake Munns
 Furman University  6-1
 #2 Doubles  Ryan Cheng 
 Dylan King
 Cameron Green 
 Alex Steryous
 Yale University  6-4
 #3 Doubles  Nathan Brown 
 Photos Photiades
 Trevor Croyder 
 Clarke Wilson
 Furman University  6-4