Continuing on its early season success, the Crimson defeated the Tigers for the fourth straight time to break Princeton’s two game winning streak, with freshman Andrew Ball delivering a clutch, 6-4, 7-6 win to clinch the triumph for Harvard.
The day started with the Crimson taking advantage early in the doubles matches. The second doubles tandem of Hu and Yueng got the ball rolling with an 8-5 victory, to give Harvard an early edge in the doubles race.
The lead was doubled when the third string team pair, composed of Schultz and Beltrame, followed suit by winning their match, 8-5, to claim the doubles point and stake a 1-0 lead, a point which Harvard coach Dave Fish claims to be a huge game changer for the Crimson.
“Having the doubles point in your pocket means [the opponent] has to win 4 out of 6 matches in singles,” Fish said. “The doubles point is always critical, and if we get the doubles point we turn into a very hard team to beat.”
The singles play saw the Crimson continue its hot start as Yueng continued a successful day by cruising to a 6-2, 6-0 victory, which saw him break all of Princeton freshman Josh Yablon’s serves in the second set and put the Crimson ahead, 2-0.
Steinroder continued the success by putting Harvard on the brink of a second straight victory, winning his singles match by a 6-2, 6-3 margin over freshman Alex Day on court three.
Harvard looked to close out the match on court six as Hu took the first set, 6-2, but Princeton senior Dan Davies would battle back to win the second set, 6-4, setting up freshman Andrew Ball to attempt to close out the match.
Ball took the first set, 6-4, over his opponent, senior Augie Bloom, before going up, 3-0, in the second set with the help of a break. Bloom stormed back to level the set at 4-4 with two breaks of his own.
Ball would hold strong and close out the match, 6-4, with two straight points to claim victory for the Crimson. According to Steinroeder, the victory mirrored the advice which Coach Fish gave to his players going into the weekend.
“Coach has been telling us to go after it a little more,” Steinroeder said. “We’ve been playing down to our opponents level a lot of the times, but our guys were aggressive and committed to their games, and when we have all three doubles team and six singles players doing that, we’re a really tough team.”