After the Harvard men's tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision to Columbia on April 7, it knew it would have to stay almost perfect the rest of the way to win the Ivy League title. The Crimson proceeded to win three straight Ivy League matches, including an important win over a tough Princeton squad.
So when the team traveled to Brown on Friday, it might have seemed as if the hardest challenge had passed. Instead, the Bears (12-11, 4-3 Ivy League) upset the Crimson in a closely contested 4-3 match. The loss ended Harvard's chance to defend its Ivy League title and also eliminates the chance for a NCAA tournament appearance.
On Saturday, Harvard returned home and promptly squashed Yale, 6-1. The Elis had no chance as the Crimson played tough from top to bottom.
Harvard 6, Yale 1
On Earth Day, the Crimson made a conscious effort to preserve something very important--its home-winning streak. Harvard (13-11, 4-2) extended its streak to 40 matches by beating the overmatched Yale Bulldogs. A steady rain forced the match indoors to the Murr Center, but the change of venue hardly mattered.
Harvard started off strong by sweeping the doubles matches. A healthy Mike Rich teamed up with junior Anthony Barker to score first for Harvard, winning 8-5 at No. 3 over Daren Plookhoy and Ryan Coyle. Co-captain Joe Green and freshman Dave Lingman then clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 defeat of Scott Mayo and Greg Royce at No. 2. Sophomore Cillie Swart and co-captain John Doran sealed the sweep with a win at No. 1, beating Scott Carleton and Chris Shackleton, 8-6.
Harvard continued its dominance in the singles. Green put the first singles point on the board at No. 3, taking out Shackleton in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Doran, the Crimson's top seed, easily beat Carleton, 6-1, 6-2. The clincher came at No. 4, when Barker easily dispatched Ryan Smith, 6-1, 6-4. Swart lost at No. 6, 7-6 (8), 6-1 to Kevin Park, but the Crimson picked up wins at Nos. 2 and 5 for a final score of 6-1.
"We had a point to prove," Doran said. Harvard coach Dave Fish '72 also agreed that the match was an important win.