A Team of Resilience

Words of Wissman

Call this the week of the resilient.

With Richard Nixon, a man whom President described as someone who "never gave up," dying of a stroke, and the Red Sox, a team as hapless as any over the past 75 years, rising to the top of its division, the last seven days have served to honor the non-quitters of the world.

Mark another team up for commendation: Harvard's men's tennis team.

Throughout this past season, the team has had one major goal on its mind to be one of four teams to qualify for Eastern regionals. The regionals are going to be held at Harvard's beautiful Bern tennis center in two weeks and are a sure-bet to feature some of the best ground strokes around. Naturally, the team burns to be there.

"it's something that we've sort of had on our minds all year," captain Marshall Burroughs said. "It would be great to get there--it being at home all all."

Two weeks ago, however, all seemed to be lost.

The team was coming off of two big wins against Princeton and West Virginia and was looking for another win over a very-beatable Yale team. The team started off well, winning the doubles point and two singles points.

Then, disaster struck.

Burroughs lost his number-one singles match by dropping two tiebreaker sets, and then three Crimson players in a row lost three-set matches.

Yale escaped with a 4-3 win.

It wasn't just a loss, it was a close loss. it wasn't just a close loss, it was a close loss to Yale.

And it wasn't just a close loss to Yale, it was a close loss to Yale which, if the Crimson couldn't win its last four meets of the season, could help spell doom for all hopes for a bid to regionals.


"It was really disappointing," Burroughs said at the time. "It was not a good day."

One week and three wins later, though, the team's members are once again bright and shiny, sporting the personas of the Ivy League leaders they are supposed to be.

"Everything's looking up," sophomore Dan Chung said. "We've battled back, and we're in a position to do what we want again."

First, last Saturday the team beat Brown, 5-2. Then it conqered Dartmouth, one of the better teams in the league, one Tuesday, 5-2. And then, it demolished Cornell yesterday, 7-0.

Now, only Army is left.

The team will battle the Cadets today at the Beren Tennis Center this afternoon, ending one of the longest weeks of tennis in recent memory and, hopefully, its crusade to get to regionals.

"It's a big day, no doubt about it," Burroughs said.

Although no player will admit it, the Cadets should be an easy meal: it lost to Cornell earlier this season.

While funny thing sin sports can happen, and particularly with this tennis team--the squad had at least two varsity starters out due to injuries at any point of this season--the team is a odds on bet to be at spectators.

Here's hopping they are, and that a better fate befalls them in the end than did Richard Nixon.