The No. 23 Harvard men's tennis team takes aim at its 29th Ivy League title in school history when it hosts No. 49 Dartmouth for the season finale, with Ancient Eight championship implications on the line.
Last Time Out
Harvard tallied two more key Ivy League victories over the weekend after it downed Yale and Brown, 5-2, and 4-3, respectively. Harvard went 2-4 in doubles play while securing a 8-4 record in singles play.
Against Yale Harvard stole the doubles point as sophomore Casey MacMaster and SeniorAlistair Felton fell to Hoffman and Powers 9-8 (8) while the teams of senior Jon Pearlman and sophomore Christo Schultzand Denis Nguyen and Andy Nguyen both tallied wins. Pearlman and Schultz downed Huang and Chase, 8-6 while "team Nguyen" defeated Blumenkranz and Samaha, 8-1.
In singles action Harvard got production out of its No. 3 through No. 6 positions as Schultz, Steinroeder and Andy Nguyen all earned victories. Also getting on the board with a singles win was Pearlman out of the No. 1 spot. Pearlman defeated John Huang, 6-2, 6-3, handing Huang his first singles loss in conference play. Meanwhile Schultz won against Erik Blumenkranz, 6-2, 6-3, while freshman Alex Steinroeder won against Kyle Dawson, 6-3, 6-7, 1-0. Nguyen added a victory of his own from the No. 6 spot defeating Joel Samaha, 6-3, 6-1, helping Harvard to a 4-2 victory in singles play.
Brown gave Harvard a harder time on Sunday as the team of Alistair Felton and Casey MacMaster were able to get Harvard on the board with a victory in doubles play, but it was Brown that would take the advantage. Burke and Deighton downedChristo Schultz and Jon Pearlman, 9-8 (6), while Spector and Fife defeated Denis Nguyen and Andy Nguyen, 8-6.
Entering singles play down 1-0 to the Bears, Harvard turned to its singles players to carry the day. Harvard received wins from Pearlman, Schultz, Shaun Chaudhuri and Henry Steer during competition. Pearlman defeated Soufian Azargui, 6-2, 6-2 while Schultz earned a hard fought victory against Williams Spector, 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-1. Chaudhuri continued his strong freshman campaign, tallying a win against Sam Fife, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and Steer clinched the match for the Crimson with his victory over Daniel Hirschberg, 6-3, 6-4.
Scouting No. 49 Dartmouth
The No. 49 ranked Big Green enter the contest with a 4-2 mark with its sights set on a share of the Ivy League title. Dartmouth, who sits a game back of first place is coming off a strong weekend where it too, swept travel partners Yale and Brown. The Big Green downed Brown and Yale by identical, 5-2 scores. A win against Harvard would make a three-way tie between Dartmouth, Harvard and Columbia at 5-2.
Harvard holds a serious edge against Dartmouth when it comes to the history between the two squads. The Crimson has gone 68-7 against the Big Green since the first match back in 1926. The recent history hasn't been much kinder to Dartmouth as Harvard has won 17-straight matches against the Big Green has won 21 of the last 22 meetings dating back to 1989.
Rank and File
Harvard maintained its position in the top 25 as it won two games against Ivy League opponents this weekend. The Crimson, who hold impressive victories over No. 19 San Diego and No. 43 Vanderbilt bumped up to No. 23 this week. The team of Senior Alistair Felton and Casey MacMaster were featured as the No. 66 team in the nation sporting a 12-6 dual mark while having gone 19-8 overall this season.
Harvard is enjoying possibly its most successful season to date as the team has started the dual season 21-2. It has already broken the win total set back in 1985 as that squad went 19-7. If Harvard is able to win its final match it can tie the program's second-highest win total of 22, set back in 2004.