ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

Harvard Men's Tennis Hosts Virginia Tech and Boston University

Sophomore Christo Schultz has been a big lift for Harvard in the second half as he is undefeated in singles (4-0) play and has helped Harvard to its best start since the 2005 season. (Gil Talbot)

The Particulars
Harvard hosts Virginia Tech and Boston University at the Murr Center Tennis Courts on Saturday. Matches against the two schools will be slated for 2 p.m. against the Hokies and 6 p.m. against the Terriers.

Last Time Out
Harvard returns home after a three-match, three-day, road trip that saw it play No. 43 Vanderbilt, No. 25 Indiana and Butler.

The Crimson oepened up strong against the Commodores as Denis Nguyen staved off match point several times to earn a victory and seal a match-win for Harvard, 4-3.
 
The Crimson faced the Hoosiers on Saturday and battled hard but was unable to defeat Indiana suffering its first loss of the season by a score of 5-2.

Harvard rebounded with authority on Sunday, as it pounded Butler 7-0, not losing a match to earn its fifth win of the season  

Scouting The Competition
Virginia Tech
The Hokies enter this contest with a 2-1 dual match record after defeating No. 39 Nebraska, 4-3 and Penn State, 6-1. Its lone loss came to No. 4 Georgia, getting swept 7-0. Luke Somen has played out of the No. 1 spot this year and is 1-1 through three matches. The team of Somen and Corrado Degl' Incerti Tocci have beren the top paring in doubles play for Virginia Tech, as the team has a 11-5 record in tournament play.

Boston University
The Terriers visit Cambridge, Mass., with a record of 0-3 so far this season, dropping contests against Bryant (5-2), Brown (7-0) and Fairfield (4-3).  Boston University's Josh Friedman has played out of the Terrier's No. 1 spot and has accrued a 1-2 record through three matches. The top pairing of Friedman and Michael Kopelman have gone 1-2 so far in the 2012 campaign.

History Lesson
When it comes to the series history between Harvard and its two opponents this weekend the Crimson hold a decided edge over both. Harvard is 9-0 against both the Hokies and the Terriers.

The last time Virginia Tech and Harvard played was 2003 when Harvard defeated the Hokies 4-3. The Crimson last played Boston University last season at the Murr Tennis Courts. In that meeting Harvard defeated the Terriers 7-0 spurred on by Alistair Felton, Casey MacMaster, Davis Mangham, John Thornton and Brendan Seaver.

Movin' On Up
When the ITA rankings first came out on Jan. 3, Harvard was ranked No. 70, however since that time the Crimson have impressed the ITA pundits as it has risen 10 spots in the last three weeks. After defeating No. 73 Drake and No. 43 Vanderbilt the following week Harvard moved up to No. 60.

Impressive Start
Headed into this weekend the Crimson stand at 5-1 one with its only lost coming at the hands of No. 25 Indiana. The quick start for Harvard is the team's best since the 2005 season when it opened with 6-0 mark.

Youth Movement
Its been well documented so far this season how impressive the class of 2015 has been, and as each week passes the list of contributions for its members continues to grow. While the  early triumphs of Denis Nguyen, Alex Steinroeder and Herny Steer have been a reoccuring theme, just recently a new member of the freshman class has emerged as a consistent contributor. Shaun Chaudhuri is undefeated in singles play through six matches with a 6-0 mark (3-0 in both the No. 5 and No. 6 spot).

Conference Killers
Harvard last week knocked off a team from the SEC, defeating No. 43 Vanderbilt 4-3. The Crimson has another opportunity to take down a high profile conference shool when it meets the ACC's Virginia Tech. The last time that the Crimson played an SEC and ACC team in the same year was 2008 when it played No 47 Kentucky and No. 1 Virginia falling 4-3 and 6-1, respecitvely.