HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team gave No. 27 Swarthmore all it could handle inside the Lutnick Tennis Center on Tuesday evening. The Fords (9-8, 6-2 CC) brought the rivalry match within a one team point difference after back-to-back singles wins. However, the Garnet (11-10, 8-0 CC) prevailed in the two remaining singles matches on court to secure a 6-3 team win.
The Fords grabbed the first point of the evening as Raja Arul and David Kong improved to 5-1 on the season together in doubles. Haverford's No. 2 pairing broke and held serve to go up 6-5 before prevailing in an 8-6 final. That pairing is now 3-1 in Centennial Conference action.
Haverford had chances in each of the three doubles matches as the Fords trailed just 4-3 in the first and third doubles before falling by respective 8-5 and 8-4 scores. No. 1 doubles marked a regionally-ranked matchup as the Fords' No. 20 regional pairing of Josh Moskovitz and Dais Nakayama took on the national No. 20 pairing and regional No. 11 in that match.
Moving into singles, Swarthmore was on the brink of victory after wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. In a clash of regionally-ranked players, Moskovitz fell to the nation's No. 29 player, Mark Fallati, by a 6-3, 6-1 score. Nakayama found himself matched up against a regionally-ranked opponent at No. 2, falling by a 6-0, 6-1 score.
However, the Fords would not surrender the match without a fight. Kevin Yan picked up his ninth win of the year and improved to 5-1 in conference matches with a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 3 singles. Phelps then followed that match up with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 4 singles. Phelps now has a team-leading 11 singles wins on the year and is also 5-1 in conference singles matches.
With momentum appearing to swing back in Haverford's favor, the Fords found themselves in a pair of tough matches to try and complete the comeback. However, Ishaan Prinz was denied by successive 6-4 set scores in his match at No. 5 singles. Arul split his first 12 games to force a first set tiebreak, but was edged out by a 9-7 score before a 6-1 setback in the second.
Men's tennis remains in third place in the Centennial Conference standings despite tonight's result. The Fords will have a chance to clinch a bye into the semifinals of the conference tournament this Saturday when they host Gettysburg in a 12 p.m. start.