The Harvard men's tennis team had high hopes earlier this week, when it flew into Louisville, Ky. for the National Indoor Tennis Championships. Last year, an unranked Crimson squad knocked off three of collegiate tennis' big boys: fifth-ranked South Carolina, 14th-ranked Kentucky and 15th-ranked Arkansas.
This time around Harvard seemed even stronger. The Crimson added highly-recruited freshman Ian Williams, Marshall Burroughs and Brent Latanzi while losing only one player, third-doubles Mark Leschly, to graduation.
Harvard started quickly, as the 18th-ranked team downed 16th-ranked Pepperdine, 5-1, on Wednesday.
But third-ranked Georgia quelled Harvard's fast start yesterday.
The Crimson roared back from a 4-1 deficit--just one game away from dropping the match--to win two. Mike Shyjan, the nation's 29th-rated player, triumphed in three sets to make it 4-2. Albert Chang/Ian Williams then beat Jack Frierson/Bobby Mariencheck, 6-4, 7-5, to cut Georgia's lead to one game.
All went for naught when--moments before Shyjan/Mike Zimmerman were to tie the match with a three-set thriller--the Dawgs' Ivan Baron/Patricio Arnold beat Marshall Burroughs/John Tolmie to clinch the match.
The Crimson fared better against Pepperdine. Zimmerman, Chang, Shyjan, Williams and Derek Brown--Harvard's five top-ranked singles players--all won in singles action, rendering doubles play unnecessary.