Netmen to Host Bruins, Elis in Matches
Ever since the Harvard's men tennis team lost to Columbia earlier this month, it loosened the Crimson's dominant hold of the Eastern Intercollegiate Tennis Association (EITA) during the 1980's.
Over the past six years, the netmen have captured five EITA titles, which have resulted into five appearances in the NCAA tournament.
This year, however, Harvard (3-1 EITA) is currently in third place behind the first-place Lions (7-0) and Brown (5-1).
The Crimson will face formidable challenges this weekend, with the squad hosting the Bruins today, followed by Yale tomorrow.
"We've never beaten [Harvard]," Brown's Kevin Wyman said. "We are gearing up for an exciting match. We want to be the first Brown team to beat Harvard."
Today's match will mark the 52nd meeting between Harvard and Brown. The netmen have a decisive 52-0 margin, including 25 shutouts.
But Brown would like to change that losing streak.
"We have to fight it out," Harvard's Arkie Engle said. We know they are coming to take us out. We've got a lot players out with injuries. If the match comes down to doubles, we defintely have the advantage."
Last year, the Crimson recorded an exciting 5-4 victory over the Bruins at Providence, RI, in a match that lasted over six hours.
"Last year's match was the best match I've ever been involved in," Wyman said. "We expect a lot of things next year, but we want to prove something this year."
With both team's looking strong in singles, the match will probably come down to doubles, where the Crimson has performed well all year.
"Our doubles teams are good. It's one of our strong points," Harvard's Darryl Laddin said. "It'll be a fun match. We handled them pretty well in the past. I'm sure they would like to have some revenge. It'll make the match more exciting."
Leading the way in doubles for the Crimson is. Harvard Captain Peter Palandjian and Arkie Engle. The duo has proven to be one of the top doubles team in collegiate tennis.
Ranked 20 the in the nation, the tandem has lost only one match this year, during Harvard's loss to Columbia.
The netmen will enter yet another match without their full line-up, as several of the neuters are currently nursing injuries.
Harvard's second opponent over the weekend is Yale. The rivalry between Harvard and Yale started in 1903, and since that year--the competition between the schools has sustained the intensity of a Harvard-Yale rivalry.
Even though the match will not have any implications on the EITA title, there are certain reasons why a Harvard-Yale match is still important. "Tradition and respect. We respect them, and they respect us." Robson added.
The winner of the Brown-Harvard match will most likely determine second-place in the EITA, since there isn't a team left on either schedule that could upset the squads.