Last week, the Duke Blue Devils lost to the Maryland Terrapins at home, ending its two-year home winning streak.
Too bad. At least one collegiate streak is alive and well as the Harvard men's tennis team opened its spring dual season with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Oklahoma State Cowboys this weekend. The victory extends the Crimson's home winning streak to 36 matches dating back to 1994.
Harvard, which is ranked No. 25 in the country in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, started off strong by winning the doubles point. Co-captain Joe Green paired up with freshman Dave Lingman to take out Chris Bates and Frantisek Krepelka 8-4 at No. 2 doubles, while a win at No. 3 by junior Andrew Styperek and sophomore William Lee clinched the point.
The other captain, John Doran, played in a meet for the first time all season. He had been nursing a knee injury since September and saw no action in the fall or winter. In this weekend's match, he was relegated to playing only doubles. Unfortunately, Doran and partner Cillie Swart lost at the No. 1 spot to Eru Lyndon and Matt Prentice, 8-5.
With Doran playing only doubles, every Crimson player moved up one position in the lineup. In the singles, Harvard took the first set of each match. Lee finished first, soundly defeating Bates 6-2, 6-1.
The Crimson (5-0) moved a step closer to victory in the best-of-seven match with a victory coming at the No. 6 spot as Anthony Barker soundly beat Jeremy Ewert 6-2, 6-3. But even facing a 3-0 deficit, the Cowboys weren't ready to fold.
At the Nos. 1, 4, and 5 position each Oklahoma State (4-1) player won his second set. At No. 2, Lingman and Prentice were fighting out a close second set. Jiri Jezek then took out Swart in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to get the Cowboys to within two.
Lingman, however, was able to hold off Prentice at 6-4 in the second set to clinch the win. Green, playing No. 1, lost in three and Styperek lost to Krepelka to finish out the match with the 4-3 win.
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