HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team avenged an earlier 6-3 loss to Dickinson in the opening round of the Centennial Conference Tournament on Wednesday evening. The Fords (11-5) started off strong with all three wins in doubles and never looked back. Haverford then took the first two matches to finish up in singles, punching its ticket to the conference semifinals. The Red Devils (8-6) scored the wins in the sixth and seventh matches to finish on the evening.
Haverford's victory moves the team into the conference semifinals for 10th time in program history. Those appearances have all come in the last 11 years and now include a stretch of five straight seasons. The Fords will next face top-seeded Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday. First serves in that match are scheduled for 11 a.m.
After dropping all three doubles matches in the regular season meeting, Haverford completely turned the tables with a 3-0 sweep of its own on Wednesday. The Fords' No. 2 pairing of Dais Nakayama and Ishaan Prinz got the momentum rolling with an 8-1 win. The win was the pairing's fifth together this spring. Luis Acaba and Harrison Elbert followed that match up with an 8-2 win in the No. 1 doubles position. Acaba and Elbert improved to 8-3 at No. 1 doubles with the win.
A rally from the No. 3 doubles pairing made it a 3-0 sweep in favor of the Fords. In the third doubles match, Eli Phelps and Benjamin Soloway overcame some early difficulties to score an 8-6 win for the Fords. The victory was the fifth of the season for the Haverford pairing.
Luis Acaba made it 4-0 in favor of Haverford with identical 6-1 set wins in the No. 1 singles match. Acaba improved to 8-4 in matches played at No. 1 this spring with his latest victory. Zack Mason clinched the fifth point for his team with a 6-2, 6-1, victory. The junior co-captain moved to 8-7 on the year with his latest victory. With two more matches nearly complete, the Red Devils earned two team points in the final matches to finish up the evening. A pair of 10-point tiebreakers in the No. 2 and No. 4 singles matches went in the Red Devils' favor for the ultimate 5-2 final team score.
With the team score decided, Prinz was up 1-0 in sets, but facing a 5-3 deficit in the second. The Red Devils were up 1-0 in sets at No. 6 and holding a 5-2 lead in the second set.
Saturday's Centennial Conference semifinal will be a rematch from earlier this month in which Haverford was downed by an 8-1 score. The No. 1 doubles pairing of Acaba and Elbert accounted for Haverford's point in that regular season meeting.