There’ll be a lot more Irish in town tomorrow, and the Harvard men’s tennis team is hoping some of that luck rubs off on them.
The Crimson hosts one of the sixteen NCAA Division I Tournament regionals starting Saturday at the Beren Tennis Center. Harvard, ranked No. 47, will face off at 2pm against the 13th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Harvard is making its second NCAA appearance in three years, thanks to the automatic berth awarded to the Ivy League champion. The Crimson finished the Ivy season with a 6-1 record, the same as Columbia’s, but secured the bid by virtue of an earlier win over the Lions.
Notre Dame, despite being a Big East team from Indiana, is not a wholly unfamiliar team to the Crimson. At Harvard’s last NCAA appearance in 1999, James Blake ’01 and Co. defeated the Irish 4-2 in the opening round at Indiana State.
“It doesn’t matter that most of us haven’t been to the NCAA tournament,” co-captain Anthony Barker said. “The guys have gotten a lot of experience this year.”
Earlier this season both teams participated at the Fluitt Invitational at the University of Kentucky in October. The matches did not count towards the teams’ records, but Harvard was able to take two of the six singles matches in which both teams’ players competed.
It’s safe to say Notre Dame can be considered a “rival.”
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