For the Harvard men's tennis doubles past of junior Larry Scott and freshman Arkie Engle, yesterday was pure California dreamin'
Playing at the NCAA individual championships in Athens, Ga., the Crimson's first doubles team pulled a stunning first-round upset by outlasting USC's first doubles tandem of Rich Leach and Tim--the fourth seeded team in the tournament and finalists in last year's NCAA event.
The 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 victory advanced the Cantabs into the round of 16 against Monty Oppenheim and Jon Ross of Southern Methodist University and overshadowed a disappointing performance by Harvard's singles players.
All three of the members who received buds to the singles tournament lost their first round matches.
Co-Captain Dave Beckman, who played in a preliminary round match Wednesday, lost a close, 7-5, 7-5 to Kelly Jongs of Pepperdine.
Scott lost his singles match yesterday by a count of 6-4, 7-6 to Bobby Bank of Arkansas, and sophomore B-ll Stanley dropped another tight decision to Clemson of Crimson, 7-5, 6-4.
But Scott and Engle's doubles performance saved the day.
Each tandem held all of its serves in the first two sets as tiebreaker were needed to decide the sets. Then in the third set, the Cantabs broke a USC, serve only to be broken themselves in the next game.
That set up the match's deciding game, Lending 5-4, the Crimson broke serve again to clinch the win.
Scott and Engle almost here UCLA'S first doubles team earlier this year and were undefeated in league play, but this win clearly overshadows those feats.
"This is definitely a big thrill," Scott said. "We knew could compose at that level, and today we did."
"The way Arkie and I are playing," he continued, "we could conservable go all the way."
Engle was optimistic, if a little more subdued. "We have a good shot at winning a couple of rounds," the freshman said.