LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Haverford College men's tennis team capped a busy stretch in California with its second straight victory, a 6-3 decision over Occidental on Friday. The Fords (3-3) were up 2-1 after doubles before winning the final four singles matches on court to clinch the match. However, it was far from an easy task as all four of the singles matches in which the Fords emerged victorious featured at least one set that went to extra games (despite three ending in straight set victories for the Fords).
The Fords got started in doubles with a return to their first lineup of the season. Occidental garnered its only point of doubles at the No. 3 position, but Haverford's No. 1 pairing of Josh Moskovitz and Kevin Yan leveled the match with an 8-4 victory. That No. 1 pairing for the Fords has now won five matches together dating back to its quarterfinal run at the ITA Championships.
Haverford's middle pairing of George Jiang and Pranav Krishnan nudged the Fords in front on the scoreboard as fittingly enough that victory came in a tiebreak. After splitting the first 16 games of the second doubles match, Jiang and Krishnan came away with a hard-fought 7-4 victory in the tiebreak. The Jiang/Krishnan pairing is now 8-3 overall when playing together for the Fords.
Occidental fought back and retook the lead in the team score by winning No. 2 and No. 5 singles. However, the Fords closed on a mission by winning the final four matches on court to secure the team victory. Pranav Krishnan got that momentum rolling with his win at No. 4. Krishnan was cruising in the first set and went up 1-0 after a 6-1 victory. His second set would not be as quick, but ended with the same end result as the Fords' sophomore came through with a 7-5 win to notch his fifth singles victory of the year, tying the team score at three-all.
George Jiang played his tiebreak during the opening set after splitting the first 12 games at No. 3 singles. However, Haverford's first-year was unfazed and claimed the tiebreak by a convincing 7-2 margin before rolling to a 6-4 win in the second. Jiang is now 8-4 in singles this year (4-2 in the spring). Co-captain Josh Moskovitz clinched the team result with a win at the top of the lineup. Moskovitz doubled up his opponent in the first set, 6-3, but was down a break midway through his second set. However, he would break back in short order to eventually force a tiebreak. Showing his senior poise, Moskovitz won the tiebreak by a 7-5 score for his team-leading ninth singles victory this year.
Arnav Patodia added one final statement win at No. 6 singles in the most tightly-contested match of the day. Each of his sets went to extra games as he found himself down a set early following a 7-5 setback. Nevertheless, Patodia answered back with a 7-4 tiebreak win in the second. With the team score decided before the third set began, No. 6 singles went to a 10-point tiebreak. That ultimate tiebreak went back and forth throughout, and even needed extra points, before Patodia emerged with a 12-10 victory to seal Haverford's sixth point of the match.
Men's tennis will now make the trip back east after its week on the west coast. When the team returns east, the Fords' first opponent on the slate will be No. 30 TCNJ. The Fords will battle the nationally-ranked Lions on the road this coming Wednesday, March 20 with first serves scheduled for 4 p.m.