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The Harvard men’s tennis team closed out its fall season with a strong showing at the William & Mary Invitational held this past weekend at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center in Williamsburg, Va.
In competition against William & Mary, George Washington University, and UMBC, Harvard won a total of 21 out of 27 singles matches and 10 out of 13 doubles matches to cap off a successful fall season.
“I think everybody had a good weekend,” said Harvard assistant coach Andrew Rueb. “It was the culmination of a lot of work this fall. Their games were clicking, and they were improving as the weekend went on.”
Freshman Henry Steer, a semifinalist last weekend at the Harvard Halloween Invitational, never dropped a set en route to a perfect 4-0 record and a place on the All-Tournament team.
In his first two matches of the Invitational on Friday, Steer downed George Washington’s Viktor Svensson, 6-1, 7-6, and then carried the momentum to another straight-set victory over Daniel Gray of UMBC, 6-3, 6-3.
Steer displayed an even more impressive performance in his third match of the weekend, taking down Adrian Vodislav of William & Mary, 6-2, 6-2.
Playing at the No. 2 position, freshman Denis Nguyen also did not disappoint, going 4-0 for the weekend and joining Steer on the six-member All-Tournament singles squad. Nguyen’s only loss of a set came in his third match of the weekend against William and Mary’s John Banks.
Nguyen secured the opening set, 6-2, but then dropped the second set in a tiebreak before closing the match out, 10-5 in the third set. In his opening two matches, Nguyen crushed both of his opponents in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, and 6-4, 6-1.
Co-captain Ali Felton was the final Crimson player to go undefeated in singles for the weekend.
He cruised past Richard Blumenfield of George Washington, 6-4, 6-1, and nearly bageled UMBC’s Eric Jarkowski, 6-0, 6-1.
Felton’s hardest challenge came in William & Mary’s Robert Pietrucha. Felton’s opponent stormed through the first set, 6-2, but then Felton battled his way back to even the match at one set apiece. Felton dominated in the final set to close out the match, 2-6, 6-1, 10-1.
Following up from his victory last weekend at the Harvard Halloween Invitational, freshman Alex Steinroeder went 3-1 in Flight 1 for Harvard to make the All-Tournament team as well.
In his first match, Steinroeder fell to George Washington’s Francisco Dias, 6-4, 6-7, 10-6. Despite the loss, the Concord, Mass. native rebounded to defeat UMBC’s Joe Adewomi, 6-2, 6-3, on the same day.
His momentum carried over into Saturday with another victory over William & Mary’s Anton Andersson, 6-3, 6-2.
“In singles, I feel like I played really well,” Steinroeder said. “The one match I lost was really close and I played a good player. Overall, I felt it was a successful weekend.”
The squad’s other co-captain, Davis Mangham, also won three out of four matches for the weekend.
The senior won his first three matches fairly easily but lost on the final day of competition. Mangham defeated Leonardo Lapentti of George Washington, 6-1, 6-3, and Kamal Patel of UMBC, 6-2, 6-3.
Mangham gutted out his third match win to defeat William & Mary’s Charlie Ghriskey, 3-6, 6-3, 10-4.
Freshman Shaun Chaudhuri, the other semifinalist at the Harvard Halloween Invitational, went 2-2 for the weekend.
George Washington’s Alexander Van Gils defeated Chaudhuri in the first match, 6-3, 6-3, but Chaudhuri evened his weekend record against UMBC’s Gaulthier Berret, 7-6, 6-3.
Chaudhuri fell in his third match against Ilja Orre of William & Mary before winning his final match of the event yesterday.
The Crimson squad also found success in many of the doubles matches. Felton and Steinroeder won all three of their four matches to make the All-Tournament team in doubles. The only loss for the duo came against the George Washington pairing of Ulrik Thomsen and van Gils. The Crimson narrowly lost, 9-8.
Junior Andy Nguyen and Denis Nguyen won all four of their matches in doubles for the Invitational and matched Felton and Steinroeder in being named one of three All-Tournament pairings.
The brothers started out with an 8-4 on Friday and then captured two back-to-back 8-5 victories on Saturday. Sophomore Josh Tchan and Mangham pulled out an 8-1 win over the UMBC duo of Jarkowski and Patel and Steer and Chaudhuri also won against the William & Mary pairing of Vodislav and Zach Brag, 9-7.
—Staff writer Steven T. A. Roach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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