Wednesday, February 15, 2017

HMT News: 2017 Season is Underway

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HMT News: Game on! 

The new season of Harvard Men's Tennis kicked-off on Friday, January 13th with an opening practice and conditioning test on the track (think 10-200s). Because exams are now before the Winter Break, this "j-term," or January term, means no classes and a lot of tennis—Camp Harvard Tennis. We packed every day with double session hits, lifting/training work, video analysis, a mental game seminar and a new professional development workshop. It was an intensive and rewarding ten days.  

Caption: Here are some of the boys after their work on the Gordon/ITT track.

For the professional development portion of the j-term, we welcomed back Lorenzo Beltrame, our mental coach, for a three-day seminar to build on the first program he conducted on mental performance in the Fall. In addition to in-person sessions, which he conducts in both group and individual settings, Lorenzo guides our players via ongoing written assignments throughout the season to help further develop their mental game. Lorenzo has worked for over twenty years with the legendary Jim Loehr at HPI, Human Performance Institute, helping athletes compete at their best under pressure. The program is centered on using the challenges and stresses of competition to build one's competitive "character" muscles. He views the crucible of competition as a personal growth opportunity (we all know how much we learn about ourselves under pressure) and his methodology taps into those experiences with results. 

The team also had a two-day seminar with public speaking guru, Robert Walsh. Bob is an acclaimed actor, director and professor who works with business schools and executives around the globe to teach the art of public speaking, storytelling and effective, authentic communication. This was the first year we worked with Bob and our team had a blast honing their skills in the public speaking arena. They learned about the instrument of their voice, the keys to a effective public speaking and how to deliver a succinct talk. The boys continue to use a few of the warm-up exercises Bob taught them, including a call-and-response Tasmanian work song (has to be heard!) that is now a part of the their pre-game ritual.

Caption: The boys with Bob in the Beren Tennis Lounge.

Before our opening weekend of competition, we held a kick-off party with alums, Friends, staff and family to celebrate the beginning of the season and the introduction of Mark Leschly '90 as our new Friends Co-Chair. Mark succeeds Alex Seaver on the men's side, who has been a pillar for HMT for nearly two decades working alongside Debbie Goldfine. 

Caption: Mark Leschly is pictured below front and center in the photo of the 1990 team. I didn't realize we were sponsored by PONY that year!!! Are those PONY shoes too? So glad we switched to the Reebok pumps only a year later. What a blast from the past! 

The Crimson Netters kicked off the opening weekend of on-court action by hosting the Crimson Kick-Off Tournament. The team registered a strong victory against Furman before falling to a tough Old Dominion squad. ODU notched the first four points on the board to seal the match while the last three courts were tilting in Harvard's direction. You can watch the highlights here. 

In the second weekend of the young season, the team notched an impressive 4-0 win against the BYU Cougars. The following weekend we were forced to face the Tennessee Volunteers without our top singles player, Sebastian Beltrame, due to an ankle/foot injury he suffered at the end of the BYU match. Everyone moved up in the lineup against the stalwart SEC squad, handing the guys a great opportunity to step up and put to the test much of what they have been working on with Lorenzo. It was a close match from the start, with the doubles point coming down to the last match on court where the Volunteers squeaked out the victory. In singles, Kenny Tao and Brian Yeung, playing in the top two positions for the first time, notched impressive wins to put us right in the middle of the fight. The Vols would prove too tough in the end, winning a third set breaker at #3 and another breaker at #5 to win 5-2.  Click here for video highlights of the weekend including the double-header against Bryant. 

In our third straight weekend of matches, we flew to Chicago for our annual battle with Northwestern (and Boise State). The Cats are ranked #9 in the country and would beat Duke the following day. Their team features three senior All-American contenders who are consummate professionals (we can't wait till they graduate!). Once again, missing our top gun, the team had an opportunity to play higher in the lineup and gain invaluable experience. We were shut out by the Cats but finished strong the following day against Greg Patton's Boise State Broncos 4-0. The emerging doubles pairing of Logan Weber (the only freshman in our starting doubles lineup) and Chris Morrow registered two wins that the weekend at third doubles proving their mettle as a quick and scrappy combo.  

Upcoming schedule
The men travel to Princeton, NJ this weekend, February 17-19, for the ECAC championship, which this year includes most of the Ivy teams as well as St. Johns. The following weekend we are back in the Murr where we face off against a tough Memphis squad on Sunday, February 26th at 1pm. Please join us at home or on the road. We love your support!  

Best from a snowy, beautiful Boston,
Coaches Andrew and Dave 

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

HMT News: Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year from HMT!  
We wish you all a wonderful 2017 and hope to see you on the courts.  
May all your serves be aces and your volleys crisp in the new year. 

News and Notes: 

1. Support HMT
In case you have a few dollars lying around after all the holiday shopping, you can still support Harvard Men's Tennis via a 2016 tax-deductible gift by giving online (click here) by midnight December 31st. Specify "Tennis" on the giving page in the dropdown menu and remember, all donations count for class credit. The Department of Harvard Athletics, the Friends groups, and Harvard Varsity Club also encourage alumni to make an additional gift to the Harvard College Fund to support the overall experience of our student-athletes, including the College's commitment to generous financial aid. 

2. Newest Addition
We welcome the newest addition to the HMT family, Milton Higgins Arnold II, born to Mitty Arnold ('97) and his wife Jackie. Mitty Jr. was born Wednesday, November 16th (right before the H-Y football game!). Congratulations! (Please send us your birth announcements. We love showing our family grow!)


3.  HMT on the ATP Tour
Congrats to Nicky Hu ('16) who is making his mark on the ATP Tour. Since graduating in May, Nicky has reached the finals in doubles of two Futures events as well as reaching the semifinals of a $25k Future in singles. See below for his breakout event in Niagara, Canada. At year end, his rankings in singles and doubles are around 1,000 in the world. He is only heading up in the year to come. We are so excited to follow his progress and watch him climb the ladder. Go Hu! 

4. Thanks for all your support!
Everywhere we go, there is a great crowd of the HMT faithful to cheer us on. Here is a shot from the fall Chowder Fest with some of our more recent alums—Mike Libert '09, Davis Mangham '12, Chris Clayton '09 and Shantanu Dhaka '07. We'd love to see more of you. This semester we will be traveling to Evanston, Illinois and La, Jolla California as well as a full slate of home matches. You can find our 2017 schedule here.



Coaches Dave and Andrew

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

HMT News: Happy Thanksgiving, Coach Fish and The Game

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Dear Crimson Tennis Family,

There is so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. We are very blessed to have wonderful young men on our team, supportive parents and a long line of alums and friends who stay engaged with our program. Harvard Tennis goes back a long way and we aim to continue to uphold the values and competitive excellence of all of those that came before us. Our mission statement as coaches has not changed—to produce young men of excellent character who leave our care prepared to be strong leaders with integrity. Thanks to the Athletic Department and the University, Harvard continues to be wonderful environment in which to grow and learn.

Coach Dave Fish
Ever wonder how Coach Fish got his start in coaching? Can you guess his other possible career path after graduation? Want to see his stylish 70s threads? Check out this short video feature on Coach Fish recently produced by Flosports that traces his path into coaching and the formation of his coaching philosophy. It is great window into what drives our legendary coach.

Fall Wrap Up
We have had a glorious and busy Fall here in Cambridge. We played more outdoor tennis than ever before, including well into November! The Fall season ended on a high note at William and Mary with Kenny Tao capturing the tournament title with players from VCU, ODU and W&M in the mix. The whole team competed well throughout the line-up. Senior Brian Yeung earned All-Tournament honors with a perfect 3-0 singles record, while Junior Jean Thirouin went undefeated in doubles. Check out all the results here.

Here are the boys after gorging themselves on some local Virginia BBQ (a Harvard road tradition). Yes, the team still travels in coat and tie!

The Game
This past weekend was the 133rd Harvard-Yale football game at home. The Crimson was on a nine game winning streak which was snapped by the Bulldogs late in the fourth quarter on a controversial touchdown call. The loss was nearly upstaged by the "Supermoon" in which a group of rowdy Yale students dropped their drawers and mooned (and more) the Harvard section. 

The game day weather was spectacular and the tailgating was in rare form. The Friends of Harvard Tennis hosted their own great tailgate in the Beren Tennis Center, which drew former players and families from multiple generations. Below are a few snaps however, there were many others in attendance not captured, including Scott and Michelle Clark, Davis Mangham, Will Guzick, Mike Libert, Mac McAnulty and Denis Nguyen as well as Rick and Steve Devereux and Bruce Price. A huge thanks to all who came out and a special thank you to our Friends Chair, Debbie Goldfine, for hosting and organizing such a fun day. 

Sunshine and grass on the field

The 90s Gang with Rich Lee, Adam Meister, Dave Fish, Dave Ament, Todd Meringoff, Kunj Majmudar and Coach Andrew Rueb

Current Players: Sophomore Michael Peters from St. Louis, junior Jean Thirouin from Paris/Houston, and junior Kenny Tao from San Fran (pictures courtesy of Georgia Lee)

We'll have more news to share in another newsletter soon. For now, on behalf of all of us at HMT, we wish you and your families a truly blessed and joyfulful Thanksgiving.  

Best from Cambridge,
Andrew and Dave
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Harvard Men's Tennis Newsletter: A New Season Begins...

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Dear Harvard Men's Tennis,

With Labor Day behind us, Harvard is in full swing and the yard is buzzing with excitement. The Freshmen
are beginning to find their way around campus (where is Vanserg Hall?!*) and we had our first practice only a week ago. Below are some photos documenting the kick-off to the 2016-17 school year.  If you are having problems viewing these images, you can click on the link above the email.  

This weekend is our first fall tournament at Harvard.  We are hosting the "Chowder Fest" with Illinois, Texas A&M and Notre Dame.  Come out and watch the some great tennis.  Harvard will be playing at 1pm on Friday. On Saturday, the singles will take place at noon followed by the doubles shoot-out from 3-5:30pm with all teams competing simultaneously.  Finally on Sunday, the Crimson will be in action around noon.  Most matches will likely be outdoors at the Beren Tennis Center.  (Indoors at Murr if rain.) 

Some images from the first few weeks on campus... 

1. Lane Leschly moved into Hollis 15 to find this list of former students who have lived in his room.  Note 1821 - Ralph Waldo Emerson.  And 1821, John Adams, a relation to the former President.  Some big shoes to fill... 


2. Freshmen Lunch with all the families at Spangler at HBS. 


3. Congrats to Lane Leschly who received the National Bill Talbot Sportsmanship Award at the US Open!  He joins a long list of Harvard players to win this prestigious award including Xavier Gonzalez, Andrew Ball, Shaun Chaudhuri, Spencer Vegosen and Ashwin Kumar.  


6. The sun sets on our first practice.   Thanks for all your support to make this season a reality.  Hope to see many of you at the matches this year.  





Coach Andrew and Dave 


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