HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team, ranked No. 11 in the Atlantic South Region ITA Poll, opened its spring season Saturday against Salisbury inside the Alumni Field House. The Fords picked up a victory in both singles and doubles play, but ultimately it was the Sea Gulls – ranked No. 9 in the region – that came away with the team win, 7-2.
Two freshmen, Dais Nakayama and Ishaan Prinz won their home doubles debuts Saturday for the Fords. Playing at the No. 2 position, the Fords' freshmen duo racked up an 8-5 victory in that middle doubles slot for an early team point. Haverford fell by identical 8-4 scores in the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions.
Trailing 2-1 entering singles play, the Fords were forced to overcome another obstacle when Luis Acaba was forced to retire from his match at No. 1. Freshman Caleb Mayer was also impressive is his first competition action on the home courts. At No. 6 singles, Mayer won a straight sets. He allowed just two games to his opponent in each set.
The Fords also played tightly contested matches in other hard-fought singles losses. Zack Mason, No. 3 singles, took his opponent to tiebreak points in the opening set before falling. Both Harrison Elbert and Prinz, Nos. 4 and 5, played decisive third sets. Elbert forced the tiebreak with a 6-3 second set win, but was topped 6-1 in the final set. With the team score already decided by his third set, Prinz came up on the wrong end of a 10-8 tiebreaker. He won 6-1 in the second set to force the 10-point tiebreak.
Men's tennis will now travel to Puerto Rico during the College's week of spring break. In addition to the valuable week of training, the Fords will play Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and Puerto Rico-Rio Piedros this coming Wednesday and Friday. The Fords next home match is slated for Tuesday, March 17 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.