PUERTO RICO – The Haverford College men's tennis team opened its competition slate over spring break a day earlier than expected as the Fords added Mercyhurst to the schedule while in Puerto Rico. The Fords took five of the six singles matches to snag a narrow 5-4 win for the first victory of the spring campaign.
In the three doubles matches, Mercyhurst held the upper hand in each. The NCAA Division II foes captured the second and third doubles points with identical 8-4 wins. Haverford's Luis Acaba and Dais Nakayama came within two games of snatching the top singles spot. However, the Lakers (6-3) prevailed in that top pairing, 8-6.
Switching over to singles, the roles got turned upside down as it was the Fords that dominated the play from top to bottom. Haverford's most efficient victory came at No. 2 singles where Nakayama allowed just three games to his opponent in the straight set victory. Nearly matching Nakayama were his teammates as each of the Fords' five singles victories came in straight sets.
Harrison Elbert allowed just four games at No. 4 singles for Haverford. Both Acaba (No. 1 singles) and Ishaan Prinz (No. 5 singles) had hard-fought wins that included 7-5 and 6-4 set wins. Acaba's victory came 6-4, 7-5, while Prinz won his two sets in the inverse fashion of that score.
Playing No. 6, Caleb Mayer was forced to a tiebreak to decide his opening set. Tied at six games each, Mayer won eight of the 14 tiebreaker points to claim the opening set. He would then go on to blank his opponent in the second and final set. The only match Mercyhurst salvaged in singles came with a three-set victory at No. 3. Zack Mason won his opening set, 6-4, but fell by that score in the second. Playing a 10-point tiebreak, Mason grabbed three points before Robert Rizea claimed the singles victory.
Men's tennis will be back on the competition courts Wednesday with a match against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.