Sophomore Andy Nguyen teamed with junior Alistair Felton at the ITA Indoor National Championship in Flushing, N.Y. (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
FLUSHING, N.Y. – Facing two top-30 doubles teams in two days, the Harvard duo of Andy Nguyen and Alistair Felton played as close as it could without winning at the ITA Indoor National Championship, falling 9-7 Friday to No. 29 Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt of Cal, then losing a tight, 9-8 (7-5) tiebreaker to No. 6 Amit Inbar and Nick Meister of UCLA.
"They're very encouraged," said Harvard assistant coach Andrew Rueb. "They just need to know that they can play with these teams."
Felton and Nguyen started off Friday's match with an early service break thanks to accurate, low returns and aggressive net play. Cal came back by breaking Felton's serve with some well-placed lobs. Felton and Nguyen were as close as two points away from the tiebreak buy Cal was able to wrap up the first-round win. In the consolation bracket Saturday, the pair started slow, but picked things up with some big volleys and pulled the match close by positioning well and taking control of the net, only to fall short at the very end.
The end of the tournament signals the end of the fall season for the Crimson. The team opens its 2011 schedule at the Virginia Tech Tournament Jan. 21-23 in Blacksburg, Va.