SAN DIEGO – The Harvard men's tennis team advanced to the final round of the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic held at the University of San Diego, as the Crimson downed No. 51 San Diego State University, 4-3, on Friday. After splitting the singles matches 3-3, Harvard went 2-1 in doubles play to secure the deciding point, to improve to 12-1 this season.
The two squads started with singles play after it was chosen that singles action would decide the winner of the match, unless there was a 3-3 tie at the end of competition. Freshman Shaun Chaudhuri put Harvard up 1-0 in the match out of the No. 4 spot, as he defeated Freddy Gelbrich 6-2, 6-0. Freshman Denis Nguyen extended that lead to 2-0 after downing Derek Siddiqui from the No. 2 position, 6-2, 6-2. The Aztecs cut the deficit in half after Thorsten Bertsch handed sophomore Christo Schultz his first loss of the season in the No. 3 position, 6-4, 7-5. Hunter Nicholas was the next member of Aztecs to tally a win, as freshman Alex Steinroeder fell in the No. 5 position, 6-2, 6-2. With the score even at 2-2, freshman Henry Steer broke the tie in Harvard's favor as he defeated Rickey Baylon 6-1, 6-2. In the deciding sixth match Javier Pulgar bested senior Jonathan Pearlman, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3), as he knotted the score at 3-3.
Because of the tie, the match went to doubles play as sophomore Casey MacMaster and senior Alistair Felton scored the first point of doubles action out of the No. 1 spot, downing Pulgar and Nicholas, 8-4. Bertesch and Siddiqui evened the score at 1-1 out of the No. 2 position taking down junior Andy Nguyen and freshman Denis Nguyen, 9-8 (7). Harvard was able to pull through on the final doubles match as Schultz and Pearlman outdueled Baylon and Spencer Simon, 9-8 (8), as Harvard edged San Diego State University, 4-3.
harvard will now play San Diego University tonight to decide the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic champion.