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Men's tennis downs Yale, Brown for three-game league win streak

There was little doubt that men's tennis loved its 4-3 victory over Brown Friday at Lenz Tennis Center.

In fact, the Tigers (9-7 overall, 3-1 Ivy) enjoyed the win so much they had a repeat performance Saturday against visiting Ivy League rival Yale Saturday, beating the Elis 4-3 to sweep the weekend and add two wins to their total of seven already compiled this spring.

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Against Brown, three of Princeton's top four singles players posted wins: senior No. 1 Jon Gilula 6-2, 6-2; freshman No. 2 Kyle Kliegerman 7-5, 6-3; and junior No. 4 Jeff Schachter 6-2, 6-1.

Big win

Among the more notable victories of the day was Gilula's over Brown's Michael Halpern. The win marked only the second victory of the season for the senior captain.

Princeton also claimed two doubles matches. Tallying doubles victories for Princeton were the No. 1 team, comprised of Gilula and Kliegerman, and the No. 3 team of Schachter and sophomore No. 6 Scott Borenstein.

Princeton's 4-3 victory may have actually come as a surprise to some Tiger fans, as the Bears seemed to have proved they were a force to be reckoned with.

"We weren't really sure how Brown was going to be," Kliegerman said. "We knew that they had a lot of new players. We knew we would win, we just weren't sure how close the match would be."

Key injury

The strength of the Bears, however, was not the only reason the match was so close.

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"We had an injury. I don't think we played up to our potential." Kleigerman said.

"They were definitely the weaker of the two teams we played this weekend," junior No. 5 Patrick Sweeney said. "Every Ivy game is big, I think if we played them again, it would not have been as close."

Borenstein lost his match to Brown's Vankatesh Iyer after being forced to retire due to an injury. Borenstein's injury was sustained when he twisted his ankle going after a ball. The Tigers will hopefully have Borenstein back in one to two weeks.

In addition, the No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Ahn Ahn Liu and Sweeney surprisingly dropped their match 8-5.

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In Saturday's match against Yale, Princeton won its fourth Ivy match of the season.

The visiting Elis proved they had more bite than the Bears, as the top three players, Gilula, Kliegerman, and Liu all lost.

Pulling it all together

The bottom of the ladder seemed to be the foundation that held Princeton together Saturday. Schachter beat Yale's No. 4 Mark Warnken 7-5, 6-2. Sweeney captured the No. 5 spot with a win over David Beynet, and sophomore David Schonbraun, filling in at No. 6 due to injuries to junior Kevin Woo and Borenstein, held fast and won his match against Ryan Smith, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Schonbraun himself is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery just last month.

While all the wins were important, it was Schachter's victory that broke the 3-3 tie and sealed the Princeton win.

Impressively, Woo, who has been taken out of the lineup recently due to a bone spur, rejoined his usual doubles partner Schachter and managed a win over Yale's Andrew Tang and Gregory Royce, 8-4. The No. 3 doubles team of Liu and Sweeney avenged Friday's loss and provided Princeton with an additional doubles victory against Yale.

"Yale was a good win for us," Kliegerman said.

Great start

With three Ivy wins under its belt, including one against rival Yale, the men's tennis team is well on its way to a spectacular season.

However, these Tigers are not quite out of the woods yet, as Princeton still must challenge possibly its biggest competitor, Harvard, for the Ivy title.

"Harvard is definitely the best team going into the season," Sweeney said.

"Harvard is the favorite in the Ivies," Kliegerman said.

But even before facing the Crimson, the Tigers must get past George Washington tomorrow.

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