The Harvard men’s tennis team closed out its fall season with a strong showing at the William & Mary Invitational held this past weekend at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center in Williamsburg, Va.
In competition against William & Mary, George Washington University, and UMBC, Harvard won a total of 21 out of 27 singles matches and 10 out of 13 doubles matches to cap off a successful fall season.
“I think everybody had a good weekend,” said Harvard assistant coach Andrew Rueb. “It was the culmination of a lot of work this fall. Their games were clicking, and they were improving as the weekend went on.”
Freshman Henry Steer, a semifinalist last weekend at the Harvard Halloween Invitational, never dropped a set en route to a perfect 4-0 record and a place on the All-Tournament team.
In his first two matches of the Invitational on Friday, Steer downed George Washington’s Viktor Svensson, 6-1, 7-6, and then carried the momentum to another straight-set victory over Daniel Gray of UMBC, 6-3, 6-3.
Steer displayed an even more impressive performance in his third match of the weekend, taking down Adrian Vodislav of William & Mary, 6-2, 6-2.
Playing at the No. 2 position, freshman Denis Nguyen also did not disappoint, going 4-0 for the weekend and joining Steer on the six-member All-Tournament singles squad. Nguyen’s only loss of a set came in his third match of the weekend against William and Mary’s John Banks.
Nguyen secured the opening set, 6-2, but then dropped the second set in a tiebreak before closing the match out, 10-5 in the third set. In his opening two matches, Nguyen crushed both of his opponents in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, and 6-4, 6-1.
Co-captain Ali Felton was the final Crimson player to go undefeated in singles for the weekend.
He cruised past Richard Blumenfield of George Washington, 6-4, 6-1, and nearly bageled UMBC’s Eric Jarkowski, 6-0, 6-1.
Felton’s hardest challenge came in William & Mary’s Robert Pietrucha. Felton’s opponent stormed through the first set, 6-2, but then Felton battled his way back to even the match at one set apiece. Felton dominated in the final set to close out the match, 2-6, 6-1, 10-1.
Following up from his victory last weekend at the Harvard Halloween Invitational, freshman Alex Steinroeder went 3-1 in Flight 1 for Harvard to make the All-Tournament team as well.
In his first match, Steinroeder fell to George Washington’s Francisco Dias, 6-4, 6-7, 10-6. Despite the loss, the Concord, Mass. native rebounded to defeat UMBC’s Joe Adewomi, 6-2, 6-3, on the same day.
His momentum carried over into Saturday with another victory over William & Mary’s Anton Andersson, 6-3, 6-2.
“In singles, I feel like I played really well,” Steinroeder said. “The one match I lost was really close and I played a good player. Overall, I felt it was a successful weekend.”