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Yale Records Upset Victory Over No. 26 Old Dominion

Stefan Doehler. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Stefan Doehler. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Doehler, Heller, King, Lu Notch Singles Victories in Major 4-3 Upset Over Old Dominion

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team recorded its most impressive victory of the season this Friday, downing one of the top 30 squads in the country – Old Dominion – in a hard-fought 4-3 match at home. The Elis, who came into the match as significant underdogs, submitted stellar performances across the board in what they will likely look back on as a season-changing statement victory. Although the Bulldogs fell into an early deficit, they fed off the energy of the home crowd to pull off a remarkable comeback; Friday's clash featured three three-set singles matches, including freshman Andrew Heller's match-winning battle at No. 6 singles.

Friday's home match began with a tightly contested round of doubles. Old Dominion drew first blood at No. 1 doubles, where Yale's Stefan Doehler and Alex Hagermoser fell to nationally ranked pairing Jacob Nicolussi and Adam Moundir, 6-2. With the remaining two matches going into tiebreaks, veterans Tyler Lu and Ziqi Wang restored hope for the Elis with a 7-6 victory over ODU's Javier Jover Maestre and Michael Weindl. The opposition's No. 2 doubles team Aziz Kijametovic and Jose Nunez Navarro ended these hopes, however, by winning their tiebreak in the third and deciding match.

After a hard-fought but ultimately fruitless doubles round, the Bulldogs entered singles action with their eyes on a comeback. Among the first to finish was the senior captain Lu, who showed his brilliance in a 6-2, 6-3 win over ODU's Adam Moundir. This result not only extended Lu's current win streak to six singles matches (he has yet to lose a match in 2017), but also marked the first time this season he has beaten a player ranked in the top 35 nationally; as one of the top players in the Northeast Region, Lu's recent success will surely earn him his own national ranking by the end of the month. 

After Ziqi Wang fell in straight sets at No. 2 singles and Dylan King secured a 7-6, 6-2 victory over ODU's Nicolussi in the No. 3 spot, Friday's match came down to the three matches at the bottom of the singles lineup. ODU's quality depth had been a prominent storyline heading into Friday's clash, and No. 5 player Javier Maestre certainly delivered; his impressive 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 win over Yale's Ryan Cheng put the Monarchs ahead 3-2 and one point away from victory. Yale's Stefan Doehler denied the opposition this satisfaction, however, with the junior remaining composed under pressure to earn a 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 victory over ODU's Kijametovic at No. 4 singles. This result marked Doehler's third victory in his last four matches.

With the score locked at 3-3, it was up to Yale freshman Andrew Heller to secure the result at the No. 6 position. Despite dropping his first set 7-5 to ODU's Navarro, Heller resisted the urge to press or panic; instead, the Bulldog regained control early in the second set and never looked back, taking the final two sets 6-3, 6-3 and clinching the win for Yale. Heller's clutch performance in front of Friday's home crowd may stand as the highlight of his collegiate career so far. 

Friday's upset victory improved the Elis' overall record to 6-3 and keeps them unbeaten at home. With multiple players achieving remarkable success in recent weeks, Yale appears to be hitting its stride just in time for the Ivy League season, which will begin on March 5 with a home match against Brown. The Bulldogs' next match will come at home against Elon this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. 

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity 


FULL MATCH RESULTS – Yale 4, Old Dominion 3

Position

 Yale University

 Old Dominion University

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 Tyler Lu

 #32 Adam Moundir

 Yale University

 6-2, 6-3

 #2 Singles

 Ziqi Wang

 Michael Weindl

 Old Dominion University

 6-3, 6-2

 #3 Singles

 Dylan King

 Jacob Nicolussi

 Yale University

 7-6, 6-2

 #4 Singles

 Stefan Doehler

 Aziz Kijametovic

 Yale University

 7-6, 1-6, 6-3

 #5 Singles

 Ryan Cheng

 Javier Jover Maestre

 Old Dominion University

 5-7, 6-4, 6-1

 #6 Singles

 Andrew Heller

 Jose Nunez Navarro

 Yale University

 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

 #1 Doubles

 Stefan Doehler 
 Alex Hagermoser

 #45 Jacob Nicolussi 
 Adam Moundir

 Old Dominion University

 6-2

 #2 Doubles

 Ryan Cheng 
 Dylan King

 Aziz Kijametovic 
 Jose Nunez Navarro

 Old Dominion University

 7-6

 #3 Doubles

 Tyler Lu 
 Ziqi Wang

 Michael Weindl 
 Javier Jover Maestre

 Yale University

 7-6