After whipping Penn last weekend, the Harvard men's tennis team (9-5, 2-1 EITA) recorded its second straight win with a 6-3 victory over Navy (8-5) yesterday at Palmer Dixon Courts.
"First we took the wind out of their sails," Rob Soni said. "After that, we stormed the ship and overtook them with our hands."
"The guys were like a bunch of cats," Co-Captain Paul Palandjian "they really licked those Navy guys clean."
In the first singles match, Co-Captain Arkie Engle was the first one to finish his match, capturing a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Pat Walker. After taking a 4-1 lead in the first set, the senior put the match away by winning two of the next three games.
Mark Leschly, the number-three singles player, recorded a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Craig Merikieno. Leschly controlled the match from the start by mixing a powerful service game and crisp shots.
At number-two singles, Jon Cardi was involved in his own version of guerilla warfare. After the freshman sensation won the first set, 6-3, he dropped a hotly contested second set, 6-4.
Cardi's forehand took over as he rolled to a 6-3 victory.
In the sixth singles match, Soni cruised to a 6-4 triumph over Rob Tibbs in the first set. But Tibbs rebounded to win the final two sets, 7-5, 6-2.
Navy got it second straight victory when Harvard's Roger Berry dropped a close three-set victory. Berry won the first set, 7-6, but Jamie Moore bounced back to take the final two sets and match, 6-2, 7-5.
Freshman Ravi Kumar pulled off a big victory at number-five singles. The freshman lost the first set, 7-6, but rallied to take the second set, 6-2. Kumar gutted out the third set with a come-from-behind victory.
After falling behind 2-1, Kumar rallied to win five of the next six games. Kumar later teamed up with Soni to take a 6-3, 6-3 vcictory in the number-three doubles match.
"I didn't want to beat a guy who is going to defend the nation tomorrow," Kumar said. "We stripped the stripes off them."
At number-one doubles, Engle and Leschly started off well, winning the first set convincingly, 6-1. But the duo dropped the final two sets and match, 7-5, 7-5.
Navy's win at number-one doubles closed its deficit to 4-3 in overall matches.
Berry and Cardi, the number-two doubles team, captured the first set 7-5 over Hollenburg and Tim Smetson. The two teams traded game for game before the match was tied at 6-6, which sent the set into a tiebreaker.
After losing the first points, Cardi and Berry rallied to take a 5-3 lead. Both players scored volleys to take the set and match. The duo's victory sealed the match for the Crimson.
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