HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's tennis team knocked Franklin & Marshall from the ranks of Centennial Conference undefeated teams as the Fords (6-6, 4-0 CC) took down the Diplomats (5-5, 4-1 CC) by a 6-3 score on Saturday. Haverford came into the match as the No. 11 team in the Atlantic South Rankings while Franklin & Marshall was ranked No. 12 in the latest release.
Splitting the Marshall Tennis Courts between the men's and women's teams, Haverford found itself tied at three-all with the final three matches on court. However, the Fords put on a clinic in those final three matches to keep pace with Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore as the last unbeaten teams in the conference.
The Fords jumped out to a 2-1 lead after doubles with wins at Nos. 2 and 3. Teaming up for the second time this season, but the first time in a conference match, Ishaan Prinz and Kevin Yan quickly found their chemistry together with an 8-1 win in the third doubles match. The middle pairing, Raja Arul and David Kong, rolled to their third straight win together in conference with an 8-4 score at No. 2 doubles. Franklin & Marshall got its only doubles point with an upset of the regionally-ranked pairing of Josh Moskovitz and Dais Nakayama. The Diplomats won No. 1 doubles by an 8-3 score.
Each of the first three matches to hit the courts featured numerous tiebreaks with No. 3 singles going to a decisive third set. Moskovitz, ranked No. 19 in the region in singles, shock off his frustration from doubles and won a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 7-5 match. Moskovitz is now 7-5 on the year with a 6-4 record at No. 1 singles. However, the Diplomats answered with a 7-6 (5) tiebreak win to clinch No. 2 singles before pulling out a three-set thriller in the third singles match despite Kevin Yan's 6-4 win in the second set.
With the match tied and the last three matches on court, Haverford regained control as Eli Phelps and Prinz cruised to straight set victories, securing the team's winning points. Prinz allowed just one game during his second set in a 6-0-, 6-1 triumph at No. 5 singles. Phelps emerged a hard-fought 6-4 winner in his opening set, but rolled to a 6-1 win in the second. Both Phelps and Prinz are tied for the team lead with eight singles victories.
Raja Arul added the final team point of the thrilling bout with a 10-point tiebreak win at No. 6 singles. Arul dropped a tiebreak in his opening set, but bounced right back with a 7-5 second set in his favor. Arul emerged a 10-8 winner in the 10-point tiebreak for his fifth win of the spring and the team's sixth point of the afternoon.
Men's tennis will be back at home on Tuesday as the team hosts Ursinus with first serves in that match scheduled for 4 p.m. The team will also take on Johns Hopkins next Saturday in Baltimore.