May 3, 2009

Courtesy of Johns Hopkins

BALTIMORE, MD - The 12th-ranked Johns Hopkins men's tennis team won its third straight Centennial Conference title on Sunday and fourth in the last five years with a 5-0 win over Swarthmore. The Blue Jays improve to 15-3 on the season with their 14th straight win. Hopkins earns the conference's automatic qualifier and will make its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Garnet fall to 11-7 with the loss, snapping their six-match win streak.

Hopkins took an early 3-0 lead in the match by sweeping all three doubles matches. Freshman Jacob Barnaby (Phoenix, AZ/Desert Vista) and sophomore Casey Blythe (Louisville, KY/St. Xavier) won their team-best 18th match of the season, with an 8-2 win at second. The pair defeated Stephen Youngblood and Mark Wee for their ninth straight win as the Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead in the match. At first, junior David Maldow (Jericho, NY/Jericho) and sophomore Andrew Wang (Sparta, NJ/Sparta) pushed the lead to 2-0 with an 8-4 win. The duo won their eighth straight and improved to 17-6 with the win over Kevin Shaughnessy and Zak Kelm. The win for Maldow was the 50th doubles win of his career, making him just the third player in program history to reach the milestone. Freshman Warren Elgort (New York, NY/Trinity School) and sophomore Ryan Rauck (Columbus, OH/Bexley) wrapped up doubles play with a thrilling come-from-behind win at third. The pair was down 6-3 to Maxwell Bressman and Eric Legunn before rallying to tie the match at 8-8. In the tiebreaker, Bressman and Legunn were up 6-2 before Elgort and Rauck rallied to win 8-6 to give Hopkins a 3-0 lead. The win was their eighth straight as the pair improved to 8-2 on the season.

Maldow pushed the Blue Jays lead to 4-0 in the match with his win at first singles. He dropped just one game to Youngblood for his 17th win of the season. Barnaby then clinched the match and the title for Hopkins with his win at fourth. He beat Wee, 6-4, 6-1 for his 12th straight win and 15th of the season.

Hopkins will learn its postseason fate on Monday when the NCAA announces the tournament field and bracket. The Blue Jays should also have participants in the NCAA Singles and Doubles championship field, which is set to be announced on Wednesday.