EWING, N.J. – The Haverford College men's tennis team won four of the six singles matches in an attempt to rally from an early doubles deficit during its spring opener. Unfortunately for the Fords, Haverford could not close that early gap during a narrow 5-4 loss to No. 40 TCNJ.
The nationally-ranked Lions got the early jump by taking all three doubles matches despite competitive play throughout the lineup. Haverford came closest to taking a team point at No. 3 doubles where Patrick Kley and Arnav Patodia ultimately fell by a hard-fought 8-6 score. David Kong and George Jiang played the top doubles match, an 8-5 final, while Kevin Yan and Pranav Krishnan won four games at No. 2 doubles.
Haverford began to make its surge in singles with straight set victories from Kevin Yan and George Jiang. Playing No. 3 singles, Jiang won all six games of his first set and allowed just two overall. Yan took his spot at No. 1 singles and won back-to-back 6-2 sets. Yan is now 5-1 all-time in No. 1 singles matches after today's results.
A pair of three-set matches looked like they could swing the balance of momentum to either side at No. 2 and No. 4 singles. Pranav Krishnan was up a set early at No. 4 singles after winning his first by a 6-2 score. Krishnan's opponent answered with that same margin in the second, but the Fords' junior rallied back to claim a hard-fought 6-4 decisive third set for Haverford's third team point. Nevertheless, TCNJ was able to keep the lead with a split of those results. David Kong had the early jump at No. 2 singles with a 6-3 win in the first. However, his opponent took the final two sets to put the Lions on the brink of victory as they led 4-3 heading into the final two matches.
TCNJ secured the team result with a strong showing at No. 6 singles where Arnav Patodia returned to his spot in the lineup from a season ago. However, Rob Kresch gave the Fords some more positives to take from this match with a win at No. 5. Like Krishnan, Kresch won his first set by a 6-2 score before falling by that same count during the second. Playing a 10-point tiebreak with the match decided, Kresch was a 10-6 winner for the team's fourth point of the afternoon.
Men's tennis will return to action on Saturday as the Fords travel to No. 31 Stevens. That matchup with the nationally-ranked Ducks is slated for a 12 p.m. first serve.