On Saturday, the Crimson faltered in doubles, but played strongly enough in singles to capture the 4-1 win and extend its all-time record against Auburn to 4-1.
Hu and Yeung went down, 3-0, but gradually regained serve before being broken one final time and losing, 8-6. Nguyen and MacMaster went up, 3-0, en route to an easy 8-4 victory, but Beltrame and Schultz were broken and went down, 8-6.
“The team had been playing really great at the end of the regular season,” Fish said. “But we seemed to lose a little coordination after not playing for a few weeks, and came out slowly.”
But Harvard turned things around quickly, winning all six first sets. Hu cruised through his match at No. 6, winning, 6-0, 6-3, and junior Shaun Chaudhuri followed suit with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph.
All of a sudden, fears of an early exit were replaced by a 2-1 lead. Steinroeder came through with a 6-3, 6-1 victory to put the Crimson one match away from advancing.
Beltrame and Nguyen had dropped their second sets, and with Yeung down a break in the second, the match was competitive yet again. But Yeung rebounded and then blanked his opponent in the tiebreak, 7-0, to complete the rally and send Auburn home.
And now, the Sooners have sent Harvard home for the summer. The Crimson failed to defend its Ivy title—this year’s champion, Columbia, advanced to the Round of 16—but the season was a success, according to Fish.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” Fish said. “This was a young team that got better throughout the season, shook off the loss to Columbia at the beginning of Ivies, swept through the rest, and made it to NCAAs. They showed their mettle this weekend.”
—Staff writer Justin Wong can be reached at email@example.com.