This past weekend, the Harvard men’s tennis team took on Brigham Young University (2-2), Tennessee (5-2), and Bryant (1-3) on its home turf at the Murr Center Tennis Courts. The Crimson came out with two wins and one loss, boosting its overall record to 4-2.
Highlights of the weekend included a 6-1 dual match win over BYU on Friday and a perfect 3-0 showing from freshman Logan Weber on Saturday.
Harvard 5, Bryant 2
On Saturday, the team had to adjust to playing without its number one singles seed, co-captain Sebastian Beltrame. Against Bryant, sophomore Andy Zhou stepped up to play first seed while co-captain Jean Thirouin played the two seed.
The team swept the singles matches with four victories from Thirouin, junior Grant Solomon, sophomore Sam Beren, and Weber. Zhou and sophomore Michael Peters, at sixth seed, both fell to their Bryant opponents in close three-set matches.
“It’s always tough bouncing back from a loss during a double header, but in those moments you put your own worries aside and do it for your teammates,” junior Kenny Tao said.
Harvard went undefeated on the doubles side, with junior Kenny Tao and senior Brian Yeung making quick work of their opponents in a 6-1 win. Playing the second game of a double-header can be tiresome, but the team came together late.
“I think everyone wanted to go out and compete after losing earlier in the day, and that definitely helped us recover,” Tao said. “Also of course the guys who normally don’t get to play many matches are always willing and eager to step in and compete.”
Sophomore Chris Morrow and Weber claimed a victory at second doubles, Weber’s third victory of the day, and Peters and Beren closed out the ladder with a win at third doubles.
“In the beginning of the season it always takes a little time to adjust,” Thirouin said. “This weekend we really started to see guys settle in more comfortably into their matches.”
Harvard 2, Tennessee 5
Earlier that day, however, the Crimson faced a tough opponent in Tennessee. The Vols took four wins on the singles side in the second through sixth seeds. Tao and Yeung, playing at first and second doubles, respectively, battled it out against their Tennessee opponents in two grueling, three-set matches.
“The standout moment for me was even after we’d lost 4 matches, therefore the overall match, the guys on court kept battling hard and the guys off court kept cheering loudly,” Thirouin said. “Those extra efforts are really going to make a big difference moving forward in the season.”
Tao won a tie-breaker in the first set, fell 6-4 in the second set, and then came out on top with a 6-3 win in the third set. After suffering a 6-1 loss in the first set, Yeung came back to win the second set 6-3 and edge out his opponent in a tiebreaker in the third set.
“Brian’s big win against Tennessee, even though we had already lost, he was playing a spot up from where he usually is, and him winning is a huge confidence boost for himself and us,” Tao said.