The Harvard men’s tennis team knew it faced a tall order when Notre Dame rolled into town this weekend for the first round of NCAA tournament.
The No. 13 Irish (17-6) were heading into its 11th straight NCAA tournament, and five of its six losses this season had come against teams ranked in the top twenty.
But playing at home in the Beren Tennis Center, where the No. 47 Crimson (14-12) had a five-year unbeaten streak until this season and was playing in front of a boisterous crowd who had won Harvard tennis t-shirts in a give-away between doubles and singles matches, Harvard liked its chances of pulling off an upset.
“Our team has a great spirit. and we knew if we kept our composure throughout the match, we could win,” said co-captain Anthony Barker.
But in the end, experience would prevail, as Notre Dame defeated the Crimson 4-0 Saturday afternoon.
The match was closer than the final score indicates; play was suspended after the Irish won its third singles match to give it the fourth point needed for the win.
Each of the remaining three matches, No. 1 through No. 3 singles, was in the third set when play was suspended.
The match did not begin well for the Crimson, as it lost the two of the three doubles matches, and Notre Dame took the all-important doubles point.
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