Nicky Hu has collected seven doubles wins this spring with partener Brian Yeung (Photo: Dean Bauer).
In its final non-conference contest of the regular season, the No. 30 Harvard men's tennis team will host St. John's in a Sunday showdown at the Murr Center Tennis Courts.
For the first time in the history of the Harvard men's tennis program, the team will offer live web streaming of select home matches for the 2014 spring season. The Crimson has the capability to stream home matches that take place in the Murr Center Tennis Courts.
The matches will be streamed live in HD quality on the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all Harvard athletic events through the duration of their subscription.
For those looking to purchase a subscription to the Ivy League Digital Network, click here.
Sunday's matchup will be the eighth time the two teams have faced each other, with Harvard holding a 6-1 all-time record. The series began in 1941 when Harvard posted a 7-2 win over the Red Storm, but St. John's earned it's only victory in the series a year later with a 5-4 victory. The most recent meeting came in 2012 when the Crimson powered to a 5-2 victory, its fifth straight over the Red Storm.
Last Time Out
Looking for its third straight tournament championship, the No. 28 Harvard men's tennis team fell just short of a three-peat, dropping a 4-1 match to No. 43 Drake in the final of the Mission Valley Spring Classic Saturday.
The then-No. 6-ranked tandem of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster fell on the first doubles court, 8-5, but Harvard's second team of Alex Steinroeder and Brian Yeung answered back with an 8-4 victory of its own. The point came down to the third court and Sebastian Beltrame and Christo Schultz were unable to fend off Drake's Matt Frost and Ravi Patel in a tiebreaker, falling 8-7 (4), sending the doubles point to the Bulldogs.
Straight-set singles matches were in the majority on the day, and then-No. 37 Nguyen leveled the match score with a brief, 6-2, 6-0, win over Alen Salibasic on the top singles court. No. 2 singles saw Beltrame unable to fend off Ben Lott, as the freshman dropped a 6-2, 6-3 match. Robin Goodman proved to be too tough for Shaun Chaudhuri at third singles, and Frost needed a third set to get past Yeung on the fourth court, securing the title with a 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Rank and File
Harvard was well represented in the most recent ITA rankings, which came out March 25. The team slipped two spots to No. 30 in the overall rankings and comes in as the second-ranked team in the Ivy League behind only No. 18 Columbia. Nguyen's strong spring break saw his singles ranking climb to No. 31, while his doubles ranking with partner Casey MacMaster moved to No. 11 in the country. Freshman Sebastian Beltrame also earned a singles ranking of No. 111 for the Crimson.
About The Crimson
Harvard looks to push its overall record to 11-5 on the year before the Ivy League schedule begins. The Crimson was riding a five-match winning streak, the longest of the season to date, into the matchup with Drake, and has won six of its last eight matches.
Rookie Andrew Ball continues to pace the Crimson with nine dual singles victories to his credit, splitting time between the fifth and sixth positions. Denis Nguyen continues to hold court in the top singles spot, boasting a 7-1 dual record and Sebastian Beltrame has amassed six singles wins between the second, third and fourth courts in his rookie campaign. As a team, the Crimson boasts a 43-29 record in singles matches during the dual match season. Nicky Hu and Brian Yeung, Harvard's second doubles team, lead the squad with seven doubles victories in dual matches, while the third team of Beltrame and Christo Schultz is 6-2 this season.
Scouting St. John's
The Red Storm enters the weekend with a 9-5 overall record, having claimed victories in five of its last six matches. St. John's find itself in the midst of an Ivy League road swing, facing Cornell, Penn and Yale before taking on the Crimson Sunday.
In its most recent match, St. John's secured the doubles point and took four of six singles matches in a 5-2 win over Penn. Top singles player Erick Reyes benefitted from his opponent retiring early in the second set, and Vaidik Munshaw breezed to a 6-0, 6-1 victory at third singles. Michael-John Every secured the match win with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at sixth singles, and Robert Livi posted the final team point on the day for St. John's with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 3.
The tests begin immediately for Harvard as it opens Ivy play against No. 18 Columbia Saturday in New York before taking on No. 42 Cornell Sunday.