The Lehigh men’s tennis team was defeated 4-3 by Drexel on Saturday, dropping their record to 2-1 on the year.
After losing a close 4-3 match to Drexel last February, the Mountain Hawks came up short once again in a close contest, losing their final three matches of the day after being up 3-1.
Saturday marked the fourth year in a row that Lehigh has lost to Drexel.
“We’ve been close every time which is really frustrating,” sophomore Zack Elliot said. “We feel that we’re at the same level as them, if not better, but we haven’t really been able to get over the hump.”
Lehigh started off strong in doubles play as the tandem of sophomore Andrew Nakhjavan/freshman Steven Nazaroff and junior Jacob Edelchik/sophomore Gary Fishkin held on for respective 6-3 and 7-5 victories to put the Mountain Hawks up 1-0.
Elliot put Lehigh up 2-0 after a convincing 7-5, 6-2 victory over Drexel’s Sanil Jagtiani in No.1 singles.
Freshman Matt Kleiman lost his match in two close sets at No. 4 singles to set Lehigh back 2-1 before Fishkin closed out an electric victory in the No. 3 slot 6-4, 7-6.
All three of the final singles matches saw Lehigh fighting tight contests. Junior Harry Wang stretched his match to three sets before eventually falling to Xandy Hammitt in a third set that finished 7-5 to keep Drexel in the match with Lehigh leading 3-2 overall.
The last two matches of the day featured Edelchik and senior Jack Martin-Dyer, both of whom lost their first sets. Martin-Dyer lost his match in two sets, leaving the Mountain Hawks’ fate with Edelchik after his second set reached a 6-6 tie.
The second set tiebreak reached 7-7 before Drexel’s Alvaro Cruz Chamorro pulled away for the victory.
“It’s tough to see your teammates feel like it’s their fault,” Elliot said. “The guys who were playing the last couple matches, when they lose they feel like its all on them. Every time you lose it’s the whole team losing, it’s not just one guy.”
The Mountain Hawks will look to get back on track when they travel to face Villanova away from home on Feb. 15.