Fords take down Ducks to open season

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team opened the season with a resounding 8-1 victory over Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday at the Gary Lutnick Tennis & Track Center in Alumni Field House.

The Fords (1-0) received strong play up and down the lineup in taking down the Ducks (0-2), a 2011 NCAA tournament qualifier.

Haverford got off to a great start, courtesy of the No. 3 doubles team of Will Garrett and Natty Sergay, who rolled to an 8-1 victory. Matthew Cebul and Matt Romei, at No. 2 doubles, and Kevin Caulfield and Danny Himelstein, at first doubles, followed suit with identical 8-5 victories.

The win by Caulfield and Himelstein over Stevens' No. 1 duo was impressive considering Chris Rosensteel and Shota Tasaki accounted for the Ducks' lone point in their season-opening 8-1 loss to perennial Centennial Conference contender Swarthmore College.

Andy Dougherty, at No. 4, claimed the first singles victory for the Fords as he shook off a narrow setback in set two to beat Nicholas Rosasco in three sets -- 6-0, 5-7, 6-2. Playing at No. 6, Garrett continued Haverford's momentum by overpowering Cole Liguori in a 6-1, 6-0 straight-set victory.

Engaged in the tightest match of the day was Sergay, at No. 2. Despite losing a tough tie-breaker in set two, Sergay outlasted Stevens' Tasaki in a third-set tie break, 10-8, to grab a hard-fought point for the home squad. Completing the afternoon of competition for the Fords was Caulfield, who rallied from a one-set deficit at No. 1 to  finish off Rosensteel by a  4-6, 6-4, 4-1 score, and Jake Wiesenthal who took down Daniel Szware in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.

Haverford heads to the sunny California next, for a series of spring break competitions kicked off by a Mar. 5 contest against Vassar College.