Men continue perfect start to Ivy League
The men’s and women’s tennis teams faced two more Ivy League opponents this weekend playing Yale and Brown. The No. 51 men’s team (14-4 overall, 3-0 Ivy League) went undefeated, taking down No. 54 Yale 5-2 and Brown 4-3 in a very close match, while the No. 65 women (10-5, 2-1) split their weekend, losing to Yale and beating Brown.
The men’s team started out well against Yale (15-4, 1-1), with quick wins by third doubles team of junior Augie Bloom and senior Matt Siow (8-3) and first doubles senior Matija Pecotic and sophomore Zack McCourt (8-4) to win the doubles point. Starting out strongly, the Tigers looked to continue their success in singles.
First singles Pecotic gave the Tigers a good start, winning three breaks to take the lead in the first set 5-0. His early lead would continue as he would go on to beat the Bulldogs' first singles John Huang 6-0, 6-4. With the Tigers up 2-0, the Bulldogs would get their first point with a win as second singles McCourt lost to Yale’s Marc Powers 6-2, 6-3. However, Princeton quickly rallied back with two more victories. Freshman Jonathan Carcione, at sixth singles, outplayed Zachary Dean to win 6-2, 6-4, and junior Dan Richardson clinched the win with a score of 6-4, 6-4 over Yale to lead the Tigers to a record of 2-0 in the Ivy League.
Their division win-streak would continue against their next opponent, Brown (12-7, 1-1). The Tigers dominated in doubles play, as third doubles Bloom and Siow won again with a score of 8-3, followed by Pecotic and McCourt at first doubles, winning 8-6. The second doubles team of junior Dan Davies and senior Matt Spindler rallied back from a 6-3 deficit to win the doubles point in a close match 9-8.
However, out of the next five matches, the Bulldogs would take three and the Tigers two, leaving the score tied at 3-3. Only first singles Pecotic and fifth singles Richardson would win their matches. The only match left was fourth singles Siow against Yale's Sam Fife. Siow lost the first set, in a tough 3-6 battle, but then rallied back to win the next two sets 6-4, 6-3 to clinch the win for the Tigers and keep them perfect in Ivy play. Princeton is currently tied with Harvard for first in the division.
“I love it,” Siow said of clinching the match. “I’ve been in the situation quite a few times in my Princeton career. When the match is tied 3-3, and everybody knows that all eyes are on you. Every point, there's cheering from both sides. It’s really just a fun atmosphere, and I was just having fun. I knew what the strategy was, and I just had to find a way.”
The women’s team split their matches this weekend — they were unsuccessful against No. 41 Yale but defeated Brown the next day. Against Yale, the women struggled in their doubles play as only third doubles junior Katherine Flanigan and freshman Emily Hahn took a match, winning 8-6.
“I was really excited that I was able to play my first Yale match at our home courts,” Hahn said. “During the match, I tried to focus on my game and not my opponents, and I knew that if I took care of how I played, I would come out ahead.”
The Bulldogs would also go on to take the first three singles matches, winning at third, fourth and sixth singles to clinch the victory. However, a few Tigers picked up some solid wins. Hahn won at fifth singles against Amber Li 7-6, 6-1. First singles sophomore Lindsay Graff defeated No. 46 Elizabeth Epstein in a close match, winning in three sets 4-6, 6-2, (10-5). Princeton finished the match 2-5.
The Tigers had more success against Brown on Saturday. Princeton took the doubles point as third doubles senior Monica Chow and sophomore Katie Goepel and second doubles Flanigan and Graff won 8-2 and 8-1 respectively.
In singles play, the Tigers only let Brown take one point, but that one point was fought for in a tough three-set match between fourth singles Goepel and Brown’s Nikita Uberoi. The rest of the women won their matches, with Graff winning 6-3, 6-1; Flanigan winning 7-5, 7-5; Chow winning 6-3, 6-0; Hahn winning 3-6, 7-5, (10-5) and sophomore Joan Cannon winning 6-4, 6-4. Princeton finished its weekend with its first loss in the Ivy League.
Both the men's and women's teams will play Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend. The men will have a particularly difficult challenge, playing the No. 18 Crimson at home, while the women will play away.
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