HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker to No. 23 Johns Hopkins on Saturday afternoon in a showdown of undefeated teams in the Centennial Conference. The Fords (9-5, 5-1 CC) appeared poised to have a 5-4 win, but an inadvertent unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and subsequent disqualification cost the Fords a match that they had a strong lead in during singles play against the Blue Jays (10-2, 5-0 CC).
The teams started off with singles and the two sides split the first matches to finish in what would be a fitting start to a back-and-forth match all afternoon. Ishaan Prinz won his first set in a tiebreak to put his team up 1-0 with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory. The Haverford co-captain is now 3-1 against Centennial opponents this year and has won eight matches overall. Johns Hopkins got its first point at No. 5 singles with a straight-set victory.
At No. 2 singles, Kevin Yan was up a set following a 6-2 win to start his day. The sophomore was leading 5-4 in the second set and had a couple of break points coming to potentially put his team up 2-1. However, he was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty returning a ball to his opponent for a serve and was disqualified from the match, swinging the momentum back in the Blue Jays' favor.
Three different matches went to a third set to finish singles play. Josh Moskovitz won the first of those matches as he topped the No. 12 singles player in the Atlantic South Region by a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 score. Moskovitz is now 4-0 against conference opponents this season. Ranked No. 16 in the region, Moskovitz now has seven wins at No. 1 singles this spring. Haverford had the Blue Jays on the ropes with David Kong and Pranav Krishnan also locked in tight three-set matches, but the visitors came through in both matches to carry a 4-2 lead into singles.
Each of the three doubles matches went to a tiebreak to provide a thrilling finish to the day. David Kong and Josh Moskovitz evenly split the first 16 games with their opponents at the top doubles position. The Fords' top duo won the tiebreak by an 8-6 score. That pairing is 7-3 overall with a 4-0 CC record at No. 1 doubles this spring.
Haverford's No. 3 pairing of Pranav Krishnan and Ishaan Prinz were also locked in a duel before its opponents in the third doubles match came away with a 9-7 victory to seal the team victory. The No. 2 pairing of Dais Nakayama and Kevin Yan also won a tiebreak after splitting the first 16 games. They were victorious by a 7-5 score in the tiebreak and now hold a 7-3 record together at No. 2 doubles.
Men's tennis will now have a full week to prepare for its final home match of the regular season against Dickinson. That match will take place next Saturday, April 21 and has been moved up to a 10 a.m. start time.