The weekend concluded a season marked by injuries and youth. The Crimson began the season ranked second in the national polls, but a midseason injury to co-captain Peter Karlen had contributed to recent losses to Ivy rivals Princeton and Yale. Harvard found a measure of redemption this weekend by exacting revenge on Yale and giving Trinity a tougher match than expected.
Harvard 8, Yale 1
In the consolation match, the Crimson took third place with a surprisingly easy rout of the Bulldogs. Harvard avenged a 6-3 loss earlier in the week.
At the top of the lineup, sophomore No. 1 James Bullock continued his breakout season with a 3-0 rout of Anschul Manchanda. Manchanda had taken Princeton No. 1 Will Evans to five games earlier in the tournament, but was overwhelmed by Bullock as their match progressed.
“It was typical James,” junior Dylan Patterson said. “He had a tough first game against a good opponent, and then just took over.”
For his part, Patterson swept Eli captain Peter Grote at No. 2, ending a stretch of losses to ranked opponents that had lasted for most of the dual match season.
“It feels great,” Patterson said. “It had been a rough season for me, and it’s great to know that all of the training and hard work still pays off.”
Patterson was one of four Harvard players who reversed his loss in last week’s Ivy League match to secure the third place finish. Junior Thomas Storch, sophomore Ziggy Whitman and freshman Asher Hochberg also avenged individual losses to Yale four days earlier.
Trinity 8, Harvard 1
Harvard 8, Williams 1
In the semifinals, freshman Mike Blumberg posted Harvard’s only victory against the Bantams. But several things had changed from Harvard’s last loss to Trinity—several of the individual matchups were closer than they had been on Feb. 2. And Blumberg beat a vaunted opponent in Lefike Ragontse, last year’s individual national runner-up.
“Our expectations were that we were going to leave it all on court,” sophomore Ziggy Whitman said. “We thought we were going to have a tight one because we had nothing to lose this time.”
The highlight of the afternoon for the Crimson came in the final match of the day. With the result of the overall match already decided, the Murr Center crowd converged on one court as Blumberg, who was bumped up to the third spot for the weekend, picked up the Crimson’s only victory.