Men's Tennis Begins Home Slate with Crimson Kick-Off

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Coming off two wins in dual play last week, the Harvard men's tennis team hosts its first home matches of the season this weekend at the Crimson Kick-Off. The men welcome Auburn, Utah and Wichita State on Saturday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Jan. 28 on the Ivy League Network.

Saturday, Jan. 27 - 10 a.m. - Harvard vs. Auburn
Saturday, Jan. 27 - 2 p.m. - Utah vs. Wichita State
Sunday, Jan. 28 - Matches begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Last Time Out
Harvard (2-0) completed a weekend road sweep in Dallas, Texas last weekend, Jan. 19 and 21. The Crimson defeated SMU and the University of Texas, Arlington by 4-3 and 6-1 margins, respectively. In both matches Harvard clinched the doubles point, saving the Crimson four match points. Four members of the Crimson squad are undefeated in singles play this spring season, including Grant Solomon, Logan Weber, Robert Wrzesinski and Constantin Zoske.

Scouting Auburn
The Tigers are currently 3-1 in the 2017-18 season after sweeping and shutting out Jackson State in their first three dual matches. Two members of the Auburn squad remain undefeated in singles action this season, including senior Edward Nguyen and sophomore Michael Durham. Last season, the Tigers sent two players to the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships who fell in the second round.

Scouting Utah
The Utes finished their opening weekend undefeated after hosting the Utah Intercollegiate. Utah enters the Crimson Kick-Off with a 4-0 record, led by seniors Sanitago Sierra and Egbert Weverink. Last season, the Utes made it to the quarterfinal match of the Pac-12 Championships, falling to USC, 4-0.

Scouting Wichita State
The Shockers enter the weekend at 1-1 after just beginning their dual portion of the season this Wednesday. Wichita State finished the 2016-17 season with a 13-13 record, and returns six members of its squad, including co-captain Haru I­noue, who went 11-6 in the No. 1 spot last year.

In the Rankings
Andy Zhou was ranked 99th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released on Nov. 15. followed closely behind by Andrew Ball who comes in tied at 110th. Kenny Tao was previously ranked 65th in the preseason poll released on Sept. 12.

Fall Recap
Through five tournament appearances this fall, Harvard had several standout performances to carry into the spring season. At Harvard Chowder Fest Sept. 15-17, Kenny Tao finished as runner-up in singles, while Christopher Morrow and Logan Weber claimed second in doubles.

At Octoberfest, all members of the Crimson squad went undefeated in both singles and doubles play. Jean Thirouin and Andy Zhao had strong showings at the ITA Regional Championships Oct. 19-24, both advancing to the semifinals of the main singles draw. To cap off the season, Andrew Ball preserved perfection, tallying a 3-0 mark and lifting his overall record to 6-0.

Captains Elected
The Crimson elected Jean Thirouin and Kenny Tao as captains for the 2017-18 season. Thirouin returns for his second season as captain after posting a 22-10 mark in singles play last season. Tao finished the 2017 spring season with a record of 14-7 in singles play, including a 9-5 mark in the No. 1 spot.

Meet the Freshmen
The Harvard men's tennis class of 2021 includes Robert Wrzesinski (Vilnius, Lithuania/Vilniaus Adomo Mickeviciaus Gimnazija) and Constantin Zoske (Dusseldorf, Germany/St. Ursula-Gymnaisum). 

Last Year
Harvard finished its 2016-17 season with an 18-9 record, including a 6-1 mark in conference play. A seven-game win streak between the period of March 24 and April 16 elevated the Crimson to a .667-win percentage and its 29th Ivy League title.

Leading the Way
David Fish, the Scott Mead '77 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Tennis, is in the midst of his 42nd season with the Crimson after coaching the men's tennis team to an 18-9 record last season and helping the Crimson to its 29th Ivy League title. Fish owns an all-time dual record of 684-313-1 and has led the Crimson to a top-40 finish in five of the last six seasons.

Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!

What's Next?
The Crimson continues its home stretch with a match against South Florida on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m., aired on the Ivy League Network.