Fourth-Ranked Johns Hopkins Splits Pair at Stag-Hen Invitational
March 17, 2012
CLAREMONT, CA - The Johns Hopkins men's tennis team, which just one day prior had moved up to fourth in the national rankings, its highest ranking in program history, split a pair of 5-4 matches at the 2012 Stag-Hen Invitational to move to 3-2 on the season. The Blue Jays fell behind early and nearly pulled off the comeback before falling to host and 18th-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the morning. Just a few hours later, Hopkins once again fell behind after doubles but this time was able to rally for a win over 11th-ranked Washington University. The Blue Jays were scheduled to face the 13th-ranked Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens on Saturday morning, but the match was canceled due to inclement weather.
Claremont, which had fallen from fourth to 18th in Thursday's Campbell/ITA poll, jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Hopkins by sweeping the doubles. The 10th-ranked pair in the country, Alex Lane and Warren Wood took the first point with an 8-2 win over seniors Jacob Barnaby and Warren Elgort at first. Victor Chien and Robbie Erani then won a close 8-6 decision at three over juniors Andy Hersh and Jeffrey Kamei. Neel Kotrappa and Brandon Wei completed the sweep with another closely contested match at second, beating freshmen Tanner Brown and Erik Lim 9-7.
The comeback began at third singles where freshman Ben Hwang won easily over 12th-ranked Alex Johnson, 6-3, 6-1. It was the only match decided in straight sets and in four of the five three-set matches, the player that won the first set, lost the match. Wood got that point back for the Stags, however, as Wood pulled out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win at first over Hersh and CMS led 4-1. Lim cut the deficit to two with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win at sixth over Kotrappa. Freshman Jensen Reiter then pulled off a stunning comeback to win his match at fourth. He lost his first set, 6-1, to Erani before winning the second 6-2 to force a third and deciding set. He trailed 5-1 in the third set but rallied to win the set 7-5 and take the match. Fourth-ranked Lane then clinched the match for the Stags with a come-from-behind win of his own. He lost the first set 6-4, but won the second, 7-6 (4), and third , 6-4, to put CMS up 5-3. Elgort rallied for a win at fifth to account for the 5-4 win. He lost the first set 4-6, but won the second 6-4 to force a third set. He rallied to force a tiebreak in the third and trailed 6-3 in the breaker before winning 9-7 to take the match.
Hopkins faired better in the second match of the day, facing 11th-ranked Washington University. The Blue Jays once again found themselves in a deficit after doubles, trailing 2-1. But Hopkins would win four of six singles to earn the come-from-behind win. Kareem Farah and Parker Chang took the first point for the Bears with an 8-5 win at third over Hersh and Kamei. Adam and Ross Putterman then won at first, beating Barnaby and Elgort in a close one, 9-8 (5), to put Wash U. on top 2-0. Brown and Lim cut the deficit in half heading into singles with an 8-6 win at second over 12th-ranked Kevin Chu and Max Franklin.
Lim picked up where he and Brown left off in singles with a 6-3, 6-0 win at sixth over Bryan Haywood. Elgort followed with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Chu at fifth to put Hopkins on top 3-2. Brown pushed the Blue Jays' lead to two after a 6-3, 6-2 win at second over 25th-ranked Ross Putterman. Adam Putterman made it a 4-3 match as he beat Hersh, 6-4, 6-0 at first. Gary Parizher then beat Hwang at third, 6-3, 6-4 to tie match at four points apiece. Reiter would give Hopkins the win when he beat Farah, 6-3, 7-5, at fourth to complete the Blue Jay comeback.
Hopkins returns to the court on Thursday, March 22 as the Blue Jays travel to Atlanta, GA to take on undefeated and second-ranked Emory. The non-conference match is slated for a 2:00 pm start.
Johns Hopkins Blanks McDaniel, 9-0