New Haven, CT — Drexel University defeated Cornell University 5-4 to win the 2016 Hoehn Cup and the B Division title.
A year ago, Cornell and Drexel met on the final day of the Men’s National Team Championships to play for 11th place. The Big Red won that match, 6-3. Since then, the two teams had met again in the regular season, with Drexel winning that January meeting, 6-3.
Drexel came into the tournament as the top seed in the B Division, and they looked every bit the division contender in the early rounds, sweeping Brown 9-0 in the quarterfinals and clinching early against Princeton in the semis, eventually winning 8-1.
Cornell was the number 2 seed in the division, as they were a year ago. The Big Red opened the tournament with a 9-0 win over Middlebury, followed by a 6-3 win over George Washington.
Drexel took the lead out of the first wave of matches. The Dragons racked up three-game wins from Atticus Kelly at number 3 and Michael Thompson at number 6. Benjamin Francis’ three-game win at number 9 put the Big Red on the board, but Drexel still had a 2-1 lead in the overall match score.
In the second wave, Drexel and Cornell split the matches near the bottom and top of the order. The Dragons’ Ibrahim Bakir won in three close games at number 2, and the Big Red’s Alex Jung won three competitive games at number 8. The number 4 match was one of the closest of the day. Cornell’s Andrew Muran outlasted Drexel’s Luke Willemse 16-14 in game one. Willemse came back to win game two 11-7. The next two games went to extra points, and Muran had the edge in both, winning game both three and game four by a score of 12-10.
The match was tied 3-all going into the final wave.
Drexel’s strength at the top of the ladder made all the difference. Both number 1 Omar El Atmas and number 4 Brandon Ming won their matches in three games, giving Drexel their first Hoehn Cup.
With the match outcome decided, Cornell’s Graham Dietz won 12-10 in the fourth at number 7 to bring the final score to Drexel 5, Cornell 4.
This is Drexel’s first Hoehn Cup and their first division title since winning the 2009 Chaffee Cup (E Division).