The Harvard men’s tennis team emerged victorious on all fronts this weekend: not only did it avoid the blizzard that swamped Cambridge with a trip to Evanston, Ill., but it also earned two wins this weekend at the Combe Tennis Center at Northwestern University.
On Saturday, the No. 47 Crimson (4-3) squeaked by the host No. 33 Wildcats (9-3), 4-3, after two doubles tiebreakers gave the decisive doubles point to Harvard. Then, on Sunday, the Crimson defeated No. 40 Vanderbilt (5-3) by the same score.
“It was a great weekend,” co-captain Andy Nguyen said. “We fought hard and it was definitely good to get these big wins against good [major conference] schools.”
HARVARD 4, VANDERBILT 3
Although the Crimson beat the Commodores by the same margin as it did Northwestern, it was a much more comfortable 4-3 victory.
Fish spoke well of his team’s play relative to its play against Northwestern.
“We were even better [than on Saturday],” he said. “We came at them from the beginning.”
Unlike in Saturday’s tiebreakers in the doubles matches, Harvard earned easier doubles victories against the Commodores. On the second court, freshman Nicky Hu and Andy Nguyen scored an 8-3 victory over Vanderbilt’s Gonzales Austin and Suresh Eswaran, and the No. 1 team of sophomore Denis Nguyen and junior co-captain Casey MacMaster took an 8-4 win to give the Crimson the doubles point.
In singles, sophomore Alex Steinroeder and Andy Nguyen both won easily—6-1, 6-2, and 6-1, 6-1, respectively—to give Harvard an early 3-0 lead that would ensure they would not have to come back as they did against the Wildcats.
The Commodores made things interesting by winning three singles matches, including No. 17 Ryan Lipman’s fifth straight match victory. He beat the Crimson’s Denis Nguyen 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1. But Harvard sophomore Shaun Chaudhuri pulled away in the third set for a 7-6, 2-6, 6-0 win to give the Crimson its fourth point and the victory.
HARVARD 4, NORTHWESTERN 3
Although Northwestern entered the weekend with an 8-1 record, Harvard was able to produce a dramatic and narrow 4-3 triumph.
The Wildcats started things off with an 8-4 victory over Steinroeder and Chaudhuri in No. 3 doubles, but the Crimson struck back when the No. 2 team of Andy Nguyen and Hu edged Northwestern with a 8-7 (7-2) victory.
Harvard completed the doubles comeback when the first team of Denis Nguyen and MacMaster survived a challenge from the Wildcats’ Sidarth Balaji and Raleigh Smith, winning 8-7 (13-11) to give the Crimson the doubles point.
That comeback would prove pivotal in giving Harvard victory.