This weekend, the Harvard men’s tennis team traveled to Williamsburg, Va., for its final matchup of the fall season. Facing off against six other teams in William & Mary’s Tribe Invitational, the Crimson squad had a strong showing in both singles and doubles.
“Overall William & Mary was our strongest showing of the fall, which is very encouraging for the spring season. It was a lot of fun to travel with the whole team and it was clear how much everyone has improved throughout the fall,” co-captain Jean Thirouin said.
Overall, the team went 15-8 in singles and 5-3 in doubles. Freshmen Robert Wrzesinski and Constantin Zoske, sophomores Galen Lee and Logan Weber, juniors Andrew Ball, Michael Peters, and Andy Zhou, and seniors Grant Solomon and Thirouin competed in this weekend’s matchups. The team faced off against the Tribe, Middle Tennessee State, Penn State, Old Dominion, VCU, and Richmond.
“The team did a great job this weekend—I felt like everyone really locked into their games,” Zhou said. “It’s exciting to see because usually it takes longer for people to find their rhythm in the fall; in the past I’ve felt like even at this stage in the fall people are still trying to find their groove. Good play this weekend translated into quite a few wins across the board, which is great for confidence but also justification for the work we’ve put in this fall.”
Ball and Solomon went undefeated this weekend, 3-0. Ball remains unblemished this season with a 6-0 record. The freshman doubles duo of Wrzesinski and Zoske went unbeaten this weekend as well.
The Crimson dominated day one and day two of the tournament, entering day three with a 13-3 record in singles and finishing day two undefeated in doubles. On Sunday, the team faced opponents from the Blue Raiders and the Nittany Lions.
“I would say the team’s biggest strength is how connected we are to each other,” Zhou said. “Everyone has really bought into the mantras that we’ve discussed not only with our coaches but also amongst ourselves, and when everyone commits to the same philosophy and team culture it’s a really powerful effect that has tangible impact on all our games. I think that’s translated into a lot of improvement from every standpoint for all our guys.”
On the singles side, Harvard won three of its eight matches, with victories coming from Solomon, Zoske, and Peters. Zoske bested his MTSU opponent in straight sets, while Solomon and Peters both fought it out against Penn State players, coming out on top in two three-set nailbiters.
Zhou and Thirouin fell to their Blue Raiders opponents in straight sets, as did Lee to his Nittany Lion opponent. Wrzesinski had a close contest against a Penn State player: after losing the first set 6-3, the Lithuanian rookie came back in the second set with a 7-5 win, but ended up giving up the third set 6-2. Weber also fell in a three-set matchup, giving up the second two sets after having taken the first set in a tiebreaker.
The Crimson went 2-2 in doubles on Sunday. Wrzesinski and Zoske won their match 6-2, remaining unbeaten this season as doubles partners.
Harvard swept the singles side, winning six of eight singles matches of the day. Thirouin, Solomon, Wrzesinski, and Lee all claimed straight set victories.
The team has shown great depth this season.
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