The Harvard men's tennis team is on fire, and its Ivy League opponents are getting torched along the way.
The No. 38 Crimson improved its Ivy record to 4-0 with wins at Penn and Princeton this weekend. In dispatching some of its toughest foes Harvard has positioned itself as the best team in the conference.
On Friday in Philadelphia, the young Harvard squad easily beat the Quakers, 5-2, sweeping the doubles and winning four of the singles matches. The following afternoon, the Crimson toughened up for No. 60 Princeton and pulled out another 5-2 win.
The win over Princeton marked the third nationally-ranked team the Crimson has defeated this year. The match started with doubles, which had been a trouble spot for Harvard this year. Against the Tigers the Crimson took the point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3.
The team of junior William Lee and freshman Mark Riddell struck first, defeating Trevor Smith and Tim Kofol, 8-5. Next, at No. 3, the pairing of freshman Chris Chiou with junior Dalibor Snyder clinched the doubles point with a 8-4 win over Judson Williams and Dan Friedman.
"[Harvard] Coach [David Fish '72] has been experimenting with doubles teams," sophomore Oli Choo said. "It's starting to look like the partners are getting comfortable with each other."
The two teams then faced off in singles competition. Harvard notched its first win at No. 3, where Choo, who had been nursing a groin pull sustained last week against Cornell, played his first match in a week. Facing off against Smith, Choo dropped a well-played 6-4 first set. He then tweaked his game slightly and the move paid dividends.
"Strategically, I started playing more from the backcourt," Choo said. "And I was winning most of the rallies."