Friday, June 27, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
#28 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views
Inside this edition:
Fish's USTA New England Hall of Fame Induction
Graduation: Casey MacMaster and Brendan Seaver
Fiscal year end
Next Years Schedule
Dear Harvard Tennis Family,
Another great season is in the books and it is time to look back on the 2014 campaign. There is much to be proud of and we want to acknowledge the efforts of so many who made this a special year.
*HMT finished ranked #28 in the country - our third consecutive top 30 finish.
*We beat Auburn to win our third consecutive first round NCAA tournament match.
*Denis Nguyen earned All-American honors by virtue of his semifinal run in the NCAA tournament. He joined the ranks of James Blake and Jon Chu (in singles) to make it that far. Jon Chu/Ashwin Kumar and Mitty Arnold/Thomas Blake were also semifinalists in doubles.
*Harvard downed three Big-10 schools during the regular season to make it an emphatic statement about the strength of Ivy League tennis.
*Alex Steinroeder and Denis Nguyen were named captains for the 2014-15 season while Denis was voted team MVP for the second straight year. Conor Haughey and Sebastian Beltrame shared the MIP (most-improved award).
Congrats to Casey MacMaster and Brendan Seaver on their graduation. We are so proud of them and wish them the best of luck as they begin in their new role as graduates and new members of the Friends of Harvard Tennis. See their photos in full regalia on a perfect graduation day in Cambridge. Casey will be living in NYC and working for a private equity firm called Starwood Capital Group in Greenwich, CT while Brendan is joining SJX Partners, a major player in the sports/entertainment world.
In early June, Dave was inducted into the USTA New England Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. for his playing and coaching career. It was a beautiful ceremony in the historic Newport Casino that now houses the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Perfect early summer evening with a view of the grass courts and grounds. Dave was honored alongside former Longwood junior friend and doubles partner – Doug Crawford. The award came in the same season that Dave passed the 600th win mark in college coaching. According to the Georgia Bulldog site, Dave is one of only ten D-I men 's coaches to achieve that milestone (Manny Diaz also accomplished the feat later this year). It was a great night for all.
The end of the fiscal year is approaching June 30 and we would like to ask you to support the team if you haven't already. Your help is crucial in maintaining a top flight national schedule (all out of region travel is a Friends expense). Your support this past year helped us install live-HD video streaming for all home matches in the Murr. In addition, we hired Dartfish technology to chart all our matches (using the video feed). It provides valuable post-match stats and analysis as well as tagging the video for the players to watch in their dorm rooms (you can sort all the points by a myriad of filters. For example, you could pull out all the ad-side second serve break points for the match). We also hired Jez Green, Andy Murray's trainer, to work with us for a few sessions in the fall. He is overseeing our conditioning program and has been a major addition to the program. We can't thank you enough.
We have a wish-list for next year that includes funding an international trip for the team (outside the Prentice Cup), more Dartfish match analysis, and another couple of sessions with Jez Green, purchase a versa climber for cross-training, host money tournaments at Harvard to get our players extra competition during the season, and to put air-conditioning into the Murr indoor courts.
Next season calendar includes some great trips – let us know if you are in the area and want to come by. Here are some of the big matches/events:
September 12-14: "Chowdah" Fest at Harvard with Alabama and University of San Diego.
Sept. 19-21: Napa Valley Classic hosted by UC Berkley featuring many of the top teams in the country. Join us at Meadowood in the Valley!
Oct. 17-21: ITA Individual Regionals at at the US Open site in Flushing Meadows.
February 7-8: Evanston, Illinois to play top ranked Boise State (coached by legendary coach and friend Greg Patton) and Northwestern.
Feb. 21-22: Minnesota and Vanderbilt at Harvard.
March 18-21 Spring Break in La Jolla in the Mission Valley Classic, hosted by San Diego State and USD.
April 4-5: Columbia and Cornell at Home!
All the best,
Dave "Hall of Fame" Fish
Andrew "Married Man" Rueb
Eric "Slam Finalist" Butorac
1. Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Dear Harvard Tennis followers,
We apologize for the radio silence but it has been a busy few weeks. To get you up to speed, we are now in Athens, Georgia for the NCAA individual championships. Harvard #1, Denis Nguyen, is in the semifinals today around 1:30pm. You can watch today's NCAA semifinals on live-streaming not before 1:30 pm by clicking here (either "field court" 1 or 3).
Denis has powered through the draw with wins over stars from Texas, Duke, South Carolina and Florida. He has been playing superb tennis and all his hard work is starting to pay off. (You can view the draw here.)
Denis has already earned All-American honors and is trying to equal James Blake as the last Harvard player to reach the NCAA finals. Jon Chu made the semifinals in 2005 in College Station, Texas in both singles and doubles (with partner Ashwin Kumar). We are believe Albert Chang made the quarters here in Athens in the early 90s and recall that Howard Sands also made it quarters in the 80s, but without access to the actual records, I'm sure we'll hear back quickly if we've missed something!
We are so proud of all of his work and his improvements. Denis was named team MVP and co-captain for next year's squad along with senior, Alex Steinroeder in the end of the year team elections.
Denis and Casey MacMaster battled in doubles in Athens falling in the first round to UCLA #1 Marcos Giron and Mackie Macdonald 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. The Crimson actually briefly held match point in the third set breaker. It was an epic battle and the last college match of senior captain Casey Macmaster. Casey had an undefeated NCAA record till that match having won all five dual matches at the big dance over the past three seasons. We will miss you Casey!!!
In terms of the NCAA team event in Norman, Oklahoma, the Crimson bested SEC stalwart Auburn 4-1 in the first round. This was the third consecutive year that Harvard has won its opening round in the NCAA team event. We lost the doubles point and roared back in singles to take 5 of 6 first sets. Freshmen Brian Yeung clinched the match with a laser backhand return winner at #5 singles. You can read all about the win and see some highlights here.
In the second round, the Crimson squared off with the #2 seeded Oklahoma Sooners. It was a great day of tennis. Both teams had match points to win the doubles (we had 4 and they had 7!) before the Sooners clinched the point. In singles, the Okies were too strong at the top while matches 3-6 were hotly contested. Both Nicky Hu and Alex Steinroeder were in the third sets before the match was decided. The Sooners would go on to make the NCAA finals after beating a stacked UCLA team in the semis.
More later on the team. Go Crimson!
Friday, May 09, 2014
Oklahoma Sooners Tennis Stadium
The Crimson has landed in Sooner country for the first two rounds of the NCAA Team Tournament. Harvard will square off in the first match against SEC stalwart Auburn at 11am tomorrow (noon eastern time). The winner will face off against the hosts, the University of Oklahoma, on Sunday at 2pm. The Sooners earned the right to host based on their #2 national ranking. The sweet 16 will be played at the University of Georgia the following week.
You can follow the match against the Auburn Tigers via live scoring on the Oklahoma website by clicking here. The last time the Crimson battled the Tigers was in Florida in 2004 when the team led by David Lingman, Jonathan Chu, Chris Chiou, Martin Wetzel, Mark Riddell and George Turner beat Auburn.
Text below compliments of Jeff Selesnick, our top-flight Sports Information Director.
For the third straight season, the Harvard men's tennis team will compete in the NCAA Tournament, taking on Auburn in the first round of the Oklahoma regional. Play begins Saturday when Harvard meets Auburn at 11:00 a.m., followed by a matchup between the host Sooners and Big Sky Conference champion Montana.
Harvard and Auburn will meet for the fifth time Saturday in the first round matchup. The Crimson holds a 3-1 series lead over the Tigers, and owns a three-match winning streak against Auburn. The two teams first met in 1984 and the Tigers handed the Crimson a 6-3 loss, but Harvard collected wins in 1990, 1992 and 2004 to grab the series lead.
Harvard and Oklahoma have played each other four times, most recently last year (a 4-0 Oklahoma victory), with the series tied at 2-2, and Harvard has never faced Montana.
How Harvard Got Here
While Ivy League rival Columbia clinched the 2014 Ivy title, the Crimson finished second in the league standings and did more than enough in its non-conference schedule to warrant an at-large selection to the postseason. Harvard finished with a 17-6 overall record and a 6-1 league mark, good for its third straight season with a 6-1 Ivy record. After a league-opening loss to Columbia April 5, Harvard powered through the rest of its conference schedule, including shutout wins over Princeton, Penn and Yale. Harvard recorded nine wins over teams that held a national ranking, and posted a runner-up finish at the 2014 Mission Valley Spring Classic in La Jolla, Calif.
How The Other Teams Got Here
It is a talented quartet of teams at the Oklahoma regional, featuring three squads that received at-large bids into the bracket.
Harvard's first-round opponent, the Auburn Tigers, earned an at-large bid after a strong season in the difficult Southeastern Conference. With an overall record of 14-13, Auburn collected league wins over LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss, finishing with a 4-8 mark in conference play. A first-round loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament ended the Tigers' hopes of a league title, but consistent ranking within the top 40 nationally warranted the at-large selection.
Oklahoma, the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, posted an impressive 23-3 record in 2014 and captured a share of its third straight Big 12 regular-season title with a 4-1 conference mark. After starting the season ranked ninth in the ITA men's team poll, the Sooners worked their way up the national rankings, reaching the top spot towards the end of March thanks to a 4-1 victory over then-No. 1 Ohio State. Oklahoma fell just short of claiming its third straight conference tournament title, dropping a 4-3 decision to then-No. 6 Baylor in the tournament final.
Montana battled to a 13-11 record during the regular season, but was nearly untouchable in conference action, posting a 9-1 league mark. Montana's lone league loss came April 17 in a surprising 4-2 loss to Idaho at home, but the Grizz were able to bounce back with back-to-back wins to close out the regular season. Wins over Northern Arizona and then Weber State by scores of 4-1 and 4-0, respectively, saw the Griz capture their first ever Big Sky Tournament crown, securing the automatic bid into the NCAA field.
Harvard In The NCAA Tournament
Harvard's 2014 tournament invitation marks the 23rd time Harvard will play in the NCAA tournament with its first appearance coming in 1981. The furthest the Crimson has advanced in the tournament was 1997 when Harvard earned a berth in the quarterfinal round against No. 3 Stanford. The Cardinal downed Harvard, 4-0, during the match. The Crimson has accrued a 15-22 record all-time in NCAA tournament action.
In its past two trips to the tournament, Harvard has knocked off a ranked opponent in the first round and has had a chance to face the regional host. 2012 saw the Crimson down No. 45 Virginia Tech, 4-2, in the first round before bowing out to host No. 12 Florida, 4-0. Last year in Starkville, Mississippi, the Crimson breezed past No. 63 Samford, 4-0, and took the doubles point from a talented Mississippi squad before surrendering four singles matches in a 4-1 defeat.
While Harvard will be making its third straight appearance in the team tournament in 2014, the Crimson also boasts representatives in the NCAA singles and doubles championships as well. Harvard's top singles player Denis Nguyen, currently ranked 39th in the nation, earned an at-large bid into the field of 64 players as one of two Ivy League singles players in the draw. Nguyen will also be competing in the doubles competition with partner Casey MacMaster, and the duo enters the tournament ranked 19th in the country.
2014 All-Ivy Honors
Following a strong 2014 campaign, the Harvard men's tennis team yielded six All-Ivy League honors, the league announced last Wednesday.
Junior Denis Nguyen collected the third All-Ivy singles nod of his career, garnering unanimous first-team honors for the second straight season, and joined with partner Casey MacMaster on the first team doubles squad for the second year in a row.
Rookie Sebastian Beltrame had a solid first season with the Crimson and was named to the All-Ivy second team for singles. Harvard's No. 2 doubles tandem of sophomore Nicky Hu and freshman Brian Yeung also earned second-team honors for doubles.
In The Rankings
While the Crimson currently sits at No. 31 in the ITA rankings, Harvard reached as high as 24th in 2014, reaching that ranking February 18. Harvard's lowest ranking of the season came April 15 when the Crimson came in at No. 34 in the nation.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
#33 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views
In this issue:
Harvard defeats Brown and Yale in weekend play
Featured Attraction: Crimson vs. Big Green on Saturday at 2pm at Harvard
Harvard beats Brown and Yale in weekend play
This past Friday, we traveled into Bear territory and came away with a solid 4-2 win. Then, on a beautiful Easter Sunday, we battled Yale and came out on top 7-0. We had a great crowd in attendance with alums and former players including: Roger Cheever, Tom and Nancy Dingman, Alex and Christine Seaver, Dick Gross, Rick and Dana Devereux, Bruce Price, Craig Lambert as well as the Haughey Family, Rueb Family, Team Steinroeder as well as local tennis luminaries Rick Sharton and Laury Hammel.
Upcoming showdown: Crimson vs. Big Green on Saturday at 2pm at Harvard
Please come out to watch us play the Big Green on Saturday. We are both battling for second place in the league and a spot in the NCAA tournament. It will be some great tennis and we would love your support!
Writer in Residence: Andrew Rueb
Player-in-Chief: Eric Butorac
Majordomo: Dave Fish
Thursday, April 17, 2014
#34 Harvard Tennis: News and Views
In this issue:
Dave Fish's 600th Win announced in "Crimson" article
"Meet the Freshmen" Video
Harvard downs Princeton 4-0
Crimson topples Penn 4-0
Upcoming Matches: Brown and Yale
Read about Dave Fish's 600th Win in the Harvard "Crimson"
Meet the Freshmen Video: Andrew Ball, Sebastian Beltrame and Brian Yeung
Harvard downs Princeton 4-0
On a beautiful spring Saturday, Harvard Tennis battled its old rival, the Princeton Tigers. It was a great day for outdoor tennis at the Robert M. Beren Tennis Center. Our doubles has been improving, with an emphasis on the basics of first serve and making returns. Brian Yeung and Nicky Hu were the first to win 8-5 at the #2 position. They are playing explosive doubles by putting lots of pressure on the opponents' serves. Both Nguyen and MacMaster at #1 and Beltrame/Schultz at #3 reached match point at the same time with the latter finishing first and giving us the doubles point.
With our star, Dennis Nguyen, out of singles with flu-like symptoms, it meant that everyone would be moving up in the line-up. Freshmen sensation, Brian Yeung would be the first to win with an impressive performance at #4 over Josh Yablon 6-2, 6-0. Captain Alex Steinroeder notched the next win for the Crimson at #3 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Alex Day. Andrew Ball clinched the match by edging Augie Bloom 6-4, 7-6. Freshmen Sebastian Beltrame was playing #1 and had won the first set when the match was called. The match was stopped once the team point was decided.
Crimson topples Quakers 4-0
The following day we went back to work against the Quakers. The weather had turned sour and the match was moved indoors. It was another solid performance for the men of Harvard. We won the doubles point with strong outings from the #2 and #3 position. The singles line-up was by the return of Denis Nguyen back in the top spot. Denis won handily 6-1, 6-3 while Shaun Chaudhuri played one of his best matches at #3 and won in straight sets. Freshmen Brian Yeung would close out the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win at #5.
The Crimson have won three straight Ivy contests and now square off this weekend against the Brown Bears in Providence on Friday at 2pm and on Sunday at 2pm against the Yale Bulldogs at home. Please come out and support the team.