The Harvard men’s tennis team spent the weekend on the road, travelling to Ithaca and New York City to kick off its Ivy League season. In its Friday matchup at Cornell, the No. 20 Crimson (17-2, 1-1 Ivy) stomped out the Big Red, emerging with a 7-0 victory to extend its winning streak to 13.
But when Harvard faced off against the No. 50 Lions (16-2, 3-0 Ivy) the next night, its winning streak was put to an end, as Columbia grabbed a 5-2 win.
“I don’t think [our] performances were very different,” senior Jonathan Pearlman said. “I thought we played equally well each day. I think there was just a discrepancy in the level of the other team.... It was more the other team’s performance that reflected [the different] outcomes.”
COLUMBIA 5, HARVARD 2
The Lions took an early win in the No. 3 doubles match, beating out junior Andy Nguyen and freshman Denis Nguyen, 8-3. Harvard came back in the No. 1 match, in which the duo of senior Alistair Felton and sophomore Casey MacMaster defeated Columbia freshmen Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur 8-5 to even the score at 1-1.
Pearlman and sophomore Christo Schultz won the doubles point for the Crimson, taking the No. 2 spot, 9-8 (8-6).
“That was really crucial that we won...the doubles,” said Pearlman, who dropped his singles match against Winston Lin, 6-1, 6-2.
Denis Nguyen regained the lead for the Crimson with a 6-4, 6-2 win at the No. 2 spot
But from that point on, it was all Columbia. The Lions took three successive third-set matches to clinch the win.
“[Columbia] is a good team,” Pearlman said. “In terms of the singles, [they] played very well in the third set in those matches.”
HARVARD 7, CORNELL 0
On Saturday, the Crimson competed at the Reis Tennis Center in a battle against the Big Red (6-14, 0-2 Ivy). From the very beginning, the matched belonged to Harvard.
“We got off to a fast start in all the singles matches,” Felton said. “We really put in a great performance and didn’t give them a chance.”
Andy and Denis Nguyen started off with an 8-5 win in their doubles match. The Big Red answered the threat by securing the No. 1 spot over sophomore Casey MacMaster and Felton in the second match of the day, but that proved to be the Crimson’s only loss of the day. Pearlman and Schultz stepped in and downed the No. 2 Cornell doubles team, 8-3, to secure the doubles point for Harvard.
Pearlman carried the team’s momentum into the first singles match, coming out with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at the No. 1 spot.