Weekend Preview: Busy Crimson Faces Tough Foes

Published by Steven T. A. Roach on January 29, 2011 at 10:11PM

It’s that time of the week again…the Weekend Preview is back and many Harvard athletic teams are in action! Here's the lowdown:

The men’s tennis team kicks off its dual season action this afternoon against Northwestern at 2 p.m. at the Murr Center and continues its play against Purdue tomorrow at noon. Both teams hold leads over the Crimson in the all-time series records, but only slight ones. Harvard last beat Northwestern in 2005 and Purdue in 2008. After over two months of not playing a match, the squad returned to action last weekend against George Washington and Marist in a round-robin singles and doubles tournament. Junior Jonathan Pearlman swept his opponents to win the singles, and the duo of junior Alistair Felton and sophomore Andy Nguyen earned the victory in the doubles.

The men’s volleyball team also started its season earlier this week in a 3-1 win over Newbury. The squad had a rough season last year, going 5-16 and dropping its first nine matchups. One of those losses was to Endicott, a tight 3-2 battle that saw the Gulls run away with the fifth set. The Crimson will get its rematch tonight at the Malkin Athletic Center. Harvard last won against Endicott in 2009 in a straight-sets win.

While the men’s tennis and volleyball teams are both starting their regular season, the men and women’s swimming and diving squads wrap up regular season action this weekend at the annual HYP meet in New Haven, Conn. Both teams are putting their undefeated records on the line, with the men going an impressive 7-0 and the women posting a 5-0 record. For the men’s squad, the real challenge will come from the Princeton Tigers. Last season, Harvard defeated Yale by a large margin, 242-106, but lost to Princeton, 203-150. Similarly, the women are trying to earn a victory against the Tigers after losing, 196-102, in last year’s meet.

The men’s basketball team has two conference matches at Lavietes Pavilion this weekend: the first tonight at 7 p.m. against Columbia, and the second tonight at 6 p.m. against Cornell. The men’s team has been dominating its competition, especially recently, going 13-3 overall and winning the last six games. Harvard defeated Columbia easily last year, 75-57, but lost a close match to Cornell, 79-70. Both matches should be exciting for the fans.

The women's squad will also take on the Lions and the Big Red—but on the road. After losing at Boston College to drop to 6-6 for the season, the women’s squad stepped up its game and swept its next three matches, including a 69-55 victory over Seattle last Saturday. Harvard had season sweeps of both Columbia and Cornell last year.

While the basketball teams have been having successful seasons, the men’s hockey team has had a completely different result this year. Currently, the men are 3-15 and are riding a seven-game losing streak. The last time the ice hockey team won came on Jan. 1 against Army in a 4-2 victory. The men’s team has two homes games against Colgate and Cornell, the first tonight at 7 p.m. and the second tomorrow night at the same time. The chances for the squad to end its streak do not look good—Harvard lost its last two matches to the Raiders and all of its matchups against the Big Red last year.

The women’s ice hockey team has found more success, going 10-7-2 for the season, including a four-game win streak. The women travel to face Brown tonight at 7 p.m. and Yale tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. The women won against Yale in a five-goal shutout last year and 5-1 against Brown. The team also pulled out a 4-3 victory against the Bulldogs later in the season.

To wrap things up, the track and field teams host the Battle of Beantown. The men and women are both defending their titles from last year after beating Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern.

Finally, the wrestling team takes on Army and Lehigh. Wrestling has not gotten off to a great start, with the guys failing to win a matchup this season, but hopefully, the squad can turn that around this weekend.