Princeton, NJ — It didn’t take long for the excitement to build at the 2011-2012 Men’s National Team Championships. Play has only been under way for a few hours, and the tournament has already seen an historic upset: sixth-seeded Cornell University defeated third-seeded Yale University 8-1 in the first round of Potter Cup (A Division) play.
Cornell jumped to an early lead thanks to wins at #3, #6, and #9. Cornell’s Rishi Jalan defeated Yale’s Joseph Roberts 3-1 at #9, and Arjun Gupta put another point on the board for the Big Red with a 3-1 win of his own over Neil Martin at #6. But the tide really began to turn in Cornell’s favor when Thomas Spettigue came back from two games down to win 3-2 over the Bulldogs’ Richard Dodd.
Cornell clinched the win in the next round thanks to a 3-2 win from Ryan Todd over Samuel Clayman at #8 and a 3-0 win from Alex Domenick over Hywell Robinson at #2. The Big Red went on to win 8-1, with Robert Berner posting the lone win for Yale at #7.
Hoehn Cup (B Division) action got off to an exciting start of its own thanks to St. Lawrence and Middlebury. The match was expected to be close, given that St. Lawrence had earned a 6-3 win a week earlier. Today’s contest was even closer. With the overall match score tied 4-4, the Saints’ Chris Fernandez and the Panthers’ Spencer Hurst battled to 2-all. The fifth game came down to the wire, with Fernandez pulling out an 11-9 win to seal the match for the Saints. Penn also advanced to the semifinals with a win over Bates.
In C Division (Summers Cup) play, Hamilton, Bowdoin, and Colby all advanced to the semifinals with wins over Wesleyan, Connecticut College, and Amherst, respectively. Many of these teams played each other two weeks ago at the NESCAC championships, and Hamilton reversed their 3-6 loss to the Cardinals at that tournament with their 5-4 win today. Colby’s 7-2 win over Amherst was a major upset; the Jeffs were seeded second in the division, while the Mules were seeded seventh.
Matches in the other divisions started later, and results will be posted throughout the day.