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Elis Finish Season in Style with 4-3 Win over Brown

John Huang. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
John Huang. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Huang Clinches Fifth Comeback of Season for No. 57 Yale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team put the finishing touches on an exceptional season on Saturday with a strong comeback victory against an in-form group of players from Brown (14-10, 3-4 Ivy).  The Elis refused to wilt after dropping the doubles point and stormed back to seal the 4-3 decision, one that sees the Bulldogs end the season with ten wins at home. 

With the victory, No. 57 Yale (18-6, 4-3 Ivy) cements its place as sole occupier of the No. 4 spot in the Ivy League standings, ahead of No. 52 Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth and Penn.  The Bulldogs' overall season record is also an improvement on the 13-11 win-loss mark from last season, and it includes a 10-2 start to the season, the best in the Elis' recent history.  Saturday's win also marks the fifth time this season that Yale has fought back from losing the doubles point, a statistic which highlights the squad's unique resiliency and depth of talent.  Finally, the triumph over Brown is a microcosm of the success Yale has enjoyed at home this season, as the team finishes with a 10-2 record on familiar turf.

Alex Dorato, Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis, lauded his team's performance as a "great way to finish the season," especially considering that Brown came into Saturday's match on the heels of a stunning 4-3 upset over No. 21 Harvard on Thursday.

Indeed, the Bears began the match brimming with confidence and snatched the doubles point from Yale's grasp.  Though senior captain Daniel Hoffman and classmate Marc Powers showcased the immense experience and talent that has made their combination one of the best in the nation by rolling to an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles, Brown's No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams posted 8-5 wins to put the Elis behind with six singles matches to follow.   

The Bears quickly extended their lead with a win at the No. 5 spot.  Faced with the prospect of losing their hold on the No. 4 spot in the league standings, the Bulldogs responded in resounding fashion and fittingly, it was the senior class that raised its level to lead the team to a satisfying win.  Senior Zachary Dean, playing at No. 6 singles, initiated the Bulldog fight-back when he scored an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over Brandon Burke.  Powers quickly followed suit with a win over William Spector by the same score.  In the midst of this riveting display from the upperclassmen, spectators also received a glimpse of the squad's promising future when freshman Martin Svenning put Yale in the lead for the first time all day with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Daniel Hirschberg. 

When Svenning completed his match, two of Yale's seniors were embroiled in three-set affairs, both looking to clinch the overall victory.  At No. 1 singles, senior John Huang seized the chance to do so, ending his highly successful Bulldog career with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 triumph over Michael Riechmann.  Meanwhile, at No. 3 singles, Hoffman was unable to overcome Sam Fife, falling in a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision.  Despite the loss, Hoffman, in trademark fashion, showed the kind of fighting spirit and poise that gave his teammates the confidence to call him their captain this season.  Hoffman has been the leader of a Yale team that has achieved the best overall season record of any Bulldog squad in recent years.  The 18-6 record of the current team narrowly bests the 16-8 record of the 2009-10 squad, on which Hoffman, Dean, Huang and Powers played as freshmen. 

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity


 Position  Brown University  Yale University  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Michael Riechmann  John Huang  Yale University  6-3, 4-6, 6-1
 #2 Singles  William Spector  Marc Powers  Yale University  6=2, 6-1
 #3 Singles  Sam Fife  Daniel Hoffman  Brown University  3-6, 6-4, 6-4
 #4 Singles  Daniel Hirschberg  Martin Svenning  Yale University  6-1, 7-5
 #5 Singles  Lucas Da Silveira  Jason Brown  Brown University  6-1, 6-0
 #6 Singles  Brandon Burke  Zach Dean  Yale University  6-2, 6-1
 #1 Doubles  Daniel Hirschberg
 Michael Riechmann
 Daniel Hoffman
 Marc Powers
 Yale University  8-2
 #2 Doubles  Brandon Burke
 Sam Fife
 John Huang
 Patrick Chase
 Brown University  8-5
 #3 Doubles  Lucas Da Silveira
 Justin To
 Martin Svenning
 Matt Saiontz
 Brown University  8-5