The Harvard men's tennis team had little trouble making the transition onto the outdoor courts this weekend for the 1999 Blue-Gray National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala.
On Thursday, in the round of sixteen, the Crimson downed Boise State 4-1 in match play. But in the quarterfinals the next day, it suffered a 1-4 loss to Virginia.
Harvard (11-3) bounced back and defeated Northwestern 4-2 on Saturday. The Crimson finished tied for fifth place overall.
In all three matches, Harvard found its strength in singles play. The Crimson faced a point deficit after the doubles matches and needed to win at least four singles matches to clinch the overall victory.
In the Boise State match, the doubles matches began with junior John Doran and freshman Cillie Swart losing 8-1 at the No. 3 spot. The No. 2 pair of co-captain Mike Passarella and sophomore Scott Clark responded with a 9-7 win. However, the No. 1 duo of sophomore James Blake and co-captain Kunj Majmudar came up short, 8-6. With the two losses, Harvard lost the doubles point and was down 0-1 going into the singles.
"Giving up the doubles point has been an issue for us, and it showed in the Boise match. We have the talent and the ability to beat these teams, but the pairs just need more time to practice together," Blake said.
Now needing to win four singles matches, the Harvard players came out on fire, winning the first sets in all six of the matches. Clark clocked in the first win at the No. 6 position, winning handily, 6-0, 6-3, over Gabe Coran. Doran came through with a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Ryan Thompson at No. 3, and Blake routed Leif Meinike in the No. 1 match, 6-3, 6-3.
Boise rallied in the late matches and took both Passarella and Majmudar into third sets.
The Crimson turned its hopes to junior Joe Green in the No. 5 slot, and he answered the call, clinching the match, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
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