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After dropping its first match of the weekend to No. 37 Memphis (4-2) 6-1 on Friday, No. 32 Harvard men’s tennis team (6-3) returned to the courts with a vengeance on Sunday to take on No. 27 Vanderbilt (3-3) in Nashville, Tenn.
At a 3-1 deficit after clinching the doubles point but losing three straight singles points early on, things were looking dire for the Crimson. But three consecutive victories from the remaining Harvard players, senior Brian Yeung, freshman Andy Zhou, and senior Kelvin Lam, allowed the Crimson to overpower the Commodores and bring home a win.
HARVARD 4, VANDERBILT 3
The match started off with a nail-biter doubles contest. After the Harvard duo of Lam and co-captain Conor Haughey handily defeated their Commodores opponents 6-4, Vanderbilt came back to beat out junior Sebastrian Beltrame and sophomore Kenny Tao at second doubles.
In the deciding third match, Co-Captain Nicky Hu and Yeung fought hard, ultimately eking out a tiebreaker win to take the match 7-5 and give the doubles point to the Crimson.
Harvard suffered an early deficit in the singles competition, however. At first singles, No. 71 Hu took on No. 64 Vanderbilt sophomore Daniel Valent, who went 31-6 in singles last season. Beltrame, Tao and Hu fell in straight sets to their Vanderbilt opponents.
The Crimson needed three wins from Yeung, Zhou, and Lam. And it got three hard-fought victories. Yeung overcame a tiebreaker in the second set to keep his lead and beat out his opponent. Zhou bounced back from dropping the first set and took the next two for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win. Harvard’s win was wrapped up with a straight-set victory from Lam.
MEMPHIS 6, HARVARD 1
On Friday, Harvard struggled at the Currey Tennis Center. Haughey and Lam fell in first doubles, but Beltrame and Tao beat out their Memphis opponents to take second doubles. It came down to a close tiebreaker for Hu and Yeung, but the Crimson was ultimately unable to overcome Memphis sophomores No. 87 Andrew Watson and Shakeel Manji, giving the Tigers the doubles point.
The only point of the day came from Lam at sixth singles, won his set against Manji 6-4. Zhou fell first to his opponent after an unsuccessful tiebreaker in the second set at fifth singles, while Memphis freshman Chirs Patzanovsky came back from a 6-1 loss to Tao to take the next two sets at fourth singles.
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