Thursday, April 17, 2014

#34 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views


#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"

Click here.  

 

Meet the Freshmen Video:  Andrew Ball, Sebastian Beltrame and Brian Yeung

Click here to learn more about our exciting crew of players.

 

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.  

 

 

 

Upcoming Matches

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. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#31 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views, Recap of Columbia/Cornell; preview Princeton/Penn

#31 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views

 

 

In this issue:

Eaten by Lions

Win at Big Red

Upcoming Princeton/Penn Weekend in Cambridge

 

Eaten by Lions

Harvard went into the Columbia Lions Den for a match-up of the top two ranked Ivy teams.  While it was the first Ivy match of our season, it felt like the finals.  Columbia was on an incredible 12 match win streak, sporting a stellar 14-1 record to go along with their top-20 national ranking.  It has been a while since we've been the underdogs and we relished our role in their bubble.

 

The match would last for nearly four hours with nearly every contest coming down to the final frame.  In doubles, we lost two tie-breakers at #1 and #3 positions to spot Columbia a 1-0 lead.  The singles would be a war with the fanatical home fans chanting nearly every single point.   We lost a quick match at #2 with freshmen Sebastian Beltrame getting pummeled by their sophomore warrior Dragos Ignat.  The rest of the matches would go three sets.  Freshmen Andrew Ball would lose 7-5 in the third to Vermeer, who has gone undefeated at the #6 position all season.  Alex Steinroeder would lose in the third to Ashok Narayana at #4 and Shaun Chaudhuri would also drop the final set to give the Lions an insurmountable lead.  Denis Nguyen was ahead in the third when his hand cramped against Winston Lin (a top 20 national player).  Brian Yeung would have the matched stopped in the third set when the match was all square to prepare for Cornell the following day.   It was an impressive showing by the home team and we tip our caps to the Lions for their fine performance.  The match was hard fought but fair and respectful - just what an Ivy clash of the titans should look like. 

 

While Columbia celebrated their achievement, the Crimson became clearer about their games and what improvements needed to be made to jump to the next level.  We have three freshmen in our starting line-up who are growing by the day. There is great optimism here in Cambridge about the final part of the season and what lies ahead.  We haven't played our best tennis yet and we are working hard to get to the NCAA tournament.  Our theme song for this final leg is Gladys Knight and the Pips, "Midnight Train to Georgia" as we hope to make the Sweet 16 in Athens.   

 

A big thank you to all the alums, friends and family that came out to watch us play in NYC.  There was a huge contingent so pardon us if we forget to include you in our list:  Davis Mangham, Mac McAnulty, Aba Omodele-Lucien, Will McNamee, Jon Chu, Mike Zimmerman, Kunj Majmudar, Bill Stanley, Alex Seaver, Cliff Adler as well as team Beltrame, Sheila Steer, and superfan Hal Hirshon, just to name a few.   

 

Harvard 5 - Cornell 2

It was quite a contrast to go from an indoor bubble to outdoors courts in Ithaca in less than 24 hours.   It was clear from the doubles that we had not lost heart and we were ready for battle.  We won all three doubles matches by getting back to basics of first serves and returns.   The singles was very promising.  Alex Steinroeder won in straight sets at #4 to put us up 2-0.  Alex game has been improving over the last few weeks and his bigger forehand and revamped backhand make him a force to reckon with.   He still has that all-court game and crafty underspin shot-making prowess to go with his newfound power.  Brian Yeung won in straight sets by relying on his massive serve and ferocious backhands to put his opponent on the defensive. Shaun Chaudhuri would clinch the match his deep and steady groundstrokes.  We call Shaun's tennis the "vice-grip" for his relentless and merciless baseline pressure.  Sebastian Beltrame would notch the final win of the day at #2.  The Big Frosh made some significant improvement from the day before and locked into his game of heavy, building groundstrokes and powerful finishing shots.  Sebastian uses all of his 6'5" frame and big levers to make his opponent suffer. 

 

Upcoming Princeton/Penn Weekend in Cambridge

This weekend features two great match-ups.  We will be squaring off on Saturday at 1pm against the #59 Princeton Tigers.  We are scheduled to play outdoors at Beren but if it rains we will move indoors to Murr.  On Sunday, the Crimson will host the Penn Quakers.  Come out and enjoy the sun and warm weather (64 degree day) at the Beren Courts and watch some great tennis.  Hope to see you there!

 

Matches begin at 1pm both days.

 



--
Dave Fish
Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
Murr Center
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163
fish@fas.harvard.edu
GoCrimson Men's Tennis website
Harvard Men's Tennis blog

Thursday, April 03, 2014

#34 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views: Big weekend! Note time change...

#34 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views

 

In this issue:

Ivy League Kick-off

Crimson downs Red Raiders 5-2

Grudge Cup in Cambridge on April 20th

 

Columbia/Cornell

It is that time of year again when the Ancient Eight goes into battle for the Ivy League crown.  This weekend we start with Columbia and Cornell away from Cambridge.  We will go first into the Lion's den on Saturday at 1pm (note match change time).  Columbia is having their best year since the juggernaut teams of the 80s and has compiled a staggering 14-1 record and a #19 national ranking.  The roles are reversed, making them the heavy favorites in their home bubble, which sits on the banks of the Harlem River.   We are relishing our role as underdogs and really look forward to a great battle.  Please join us! 

 

On Sunday, at 2pm, we will square off in the Reis Tennis Center in Ithaca against top 50 Cornell, one of the other contenders for the crown.  It will be a great test and an exciting start to the season. 

 

Harvard 5 – St. John's 2

On Sunday, we had a really good test from a fiery St. John's team that had beaten Yale the day before.  They jumped out of the gate fast and took the doubles point, which caught our attention.   The boys recovered beautifully, posting some impressive wins in singles.   Denis Nguyen, Shaun Chaudhuri, Brian Yeung and Nicky Hu all won in straight sets - clinching the match for the Crimson.   

 

Grudge Cup in Cambridge on April 20th

We are looking for more players to join us on Sunday, April 20th in Cambridge for our annual grudge cup match against the Yalies.  Any former players are welcome to join in the fun.  There will be a lunch following the morning play and then the varsity match at 2pm against Yale.  Please just drop us a line if you can attend. 



--
Dave Fish
Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
Murr Center
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163
fish@fas.harvard.edu
GoCrimson Men's Tennis website
Harvard Men's Tennis blog

Thursday, March 27, 2014

#30 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views: Up next, St. John's this Sunday at 3pm.

#30 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views

 

In this issue:

Invitation to the H-Y Grudge Cup

5-2 Win over Michigan State

Spring Break La Jolla, CA Trip

Alumni Update: Dan Liss

Up Next: St. John's…live streaming…begins at 3pm this Sunday, March 30

 

 

Invitation to the Grudge Cup:  Harvard v. Yale
Any former Crimson men's players are invited to come back to campus for the Grudge Cup on Sunday, April 20th from 10am-noon. This is the fifth year of the challenge cup and it is a great chance for alums to come out and play against their Bulldog counterparts.  There will be a lunch following the morning tennis before the Varsity matches kick-off at 2 pm.   We hope to have alums from every decade so this is not only for the recent grads.  Please email Dave or me (andrewrueb@gmail.com) if you would like to attend. 

 

Crimson downs MSU Spartans:  Sunday, March 8th

Harvard is now 3-0 vs. the Big 10 and the Ivy League has now beaten 6 of the 10 schools in the conference (including Michigan and Northwestern).  The landscape of college tennis is changing.  Currently there are five Ivy teams in the top 50.   You can read about the win in the gocrimson article by clicking here.

 

Spring Break:  Harvard falls to Drake to 4-1 in Hilton Valley Classic Finals

We have just returned to campus where we were rudely greeted by 18 degree weather at Logan Airport.  Our annual pilgrimage to La Jolla has become the highlight of the year.  Who could beat the weather, the area and the tennis? We play/practice at all the area schools including San Diego State, University of San Diego and UCSD in La Jolla.   The lads are housed by lovely area families who open up their amazing homes for the week.  Many thanks to the Curtin, Seagren, Mottale, Jacobs, Stone and Muradi families!!!!  You made it a week to remember.

 

We had lots of family, hosts and alums in attendance over the three-day tournament.  A big thank you to all the parents who attended, including Cindy MacMaster, Dave MacMaster, Vivien Hu, Angie and Ben Ball, Bonnie and Bill Steinroeder, Doug and Christine Nguyen (as well as their boys: Derik, Scotty and Steve), Bob and --- Chaudhuri. The host families too brought the noise and cheered on the Crimson.

 

Harvard was the two-time defending tournament champions coming into the event, including a 4-3 nailbiting win over Drake last year.  In the first round, we beat a strong Denver team, who had upset Florida in last year's NCAA tournament, 4-0.  In the semifinals, we outlasted a rugged USD team 4-1 (they had downed Purdue the day before).  In the other semis, the Drake Bulldogs had beaten a tough Memphis squad in the semifinals (Memphis had edged us 4-3 a few weeks earlier).

 

In the finals, Drake turned the tables on us and avenged their defeat from last year.  Drake hit the ground running by garnering the doubles point and then put the pedal to the metal to take 4 of the first 5 singles to finish.

 

 

Alumni Update: Dan Liss '11

Dan Liss was our tennis manager for several years during his undergraduate days. He is an interesting and engaging character whom we have sorely missed since his days on campus.  After working at Deutsche Bank in London, he left to help start Bama Covered – a company designed to help register people for the new health care initiative in Alabama.  You can read about Dan (and see his photo) in this recent NY Times article.  

 

Up Next: St. John's at 3pm this Sunday, March 30th

Come watch your Crimson play their last non-conference match against the St. John's Red Raiders.  The match will be live-streamed on the Ivy League Digital Network at 3pm.  So watch us live or check us out online. 


Dinner at the Nguyen's home before heading back to campus on the red eye!  See attachment if not viewable.

 

 

 



--
Dave Fish
Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
Murr Center
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163
fish@fas.harvard.edu
GoCrimson Men's Tennis website
Harvard Men's Tennis blog

Friday, March 07, 2014

#33 Harvard Men's Tennis: News and Views; Michigan State Saturday noon, and wrap up of Northwestern/Memphis matches

#33 Harvard Tennis: News and Views

 

Inside this issue:
Michigan State Preview

Recap of #24 Northwestern and #25 Memphis

 

Harvard vs. MSU: Tomorrow at Murr!

The Crimson Netters will take to the Murr Center at noon tomorrow, Saturday March 7th, against Michigan State.  This is our third match against the Big 10 this season (Minnesota, Northwestern) and we are hoping to go 3-0.  Following the match at 5pm, Harvard will square off against Bryant in a double-header.   Come out and support the team. 

 

Streaming at IvyLeagueDigitalNetwork.com.

 

 

Harvard vs. #24 Northwestern

We had two 4-3 matches two weeks back against #24 Northwestern and #25 Memphis.  They were truly barn burning, hair-raising affairs.  The quality of tennis and competitive spirit was at a fever pitch.  Against the Wildcats of Northwestern, backed by a boisterous home crowd on Friday evening, the Crimson dropped the doubles point (again) to start the match. And the news didn't get better with the start of singles.  Junior ace, Shaun Chaudhuri, fell to freshmen sensation Sam Shropshire at second singles – putting Harvard in an 0-2 hole.  Andrew Ball, at #6, got Harvard on the board with a straight set win and #1 Denis Nguyen tied the match at 2-2 with a win at the top position.   Now there were three matches left on court and we needed two to win.  All the matches still in play were in the midst of hotly contested third sets.  Sebastian Beltrame, at #3, would fall against a very savvy Wildcat opponent that left only captain Alex Steinroeder and freshmen Brian Yeung to get the job done.   The veteran Steinroeder would pull out the third set 6-3 against Alp Horoz, which left everything up to Yeung, who sent the match into a third set tie-breaker for all the marbles.  Brian, leading 5-4 (up a mini-break), hit two big first serves to clinch the match for Harvard. 

 

Harvard vs. #25 Memphis

On Sunday, with a day of rest, the Crimson went right back to work against a very tall and aggressive Memphis team.  If anyone thought that college tennis had become more of a baseline-dominated game , this would have been a great match to see.  Memphis has some of the best doubles in the country.  It was a clash of the titans at #1 doubles. Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen are ranked #13 in the country and have put up some great numbers this year.  The duo had to battle against Memphis star tandem of Salisbury and O'Hare, who are ranked #10 in the country and had just lost in a tight match to the Bryan twins in the Memphis ATP Tour event the week before.  The tandem of Christo Schultz and Sebastian Beltrame were first on the board, notching their first win for the Crimson at third doubles.  Nicky Hu and Brian Yeung fell in a close contest at #2, which left it all up to a tiebreaker at #1 doubles.  Memphis edged us out 8-6 in the deciding tie-breaker. 

 

In singles, the match would be close all the way.  Memphis would move ahead 2-0 with a big win at the top spot – the first dual match loss for Denis. Brian Yeung was ahead in the first set – and then pulled a hip flexor.  He limped gamely along, but fell in straight sets.  Down 3-0, our players all showed a lot of heart.  Florida sensation Sebastian Beltrame would put the Crimson on the board with a straight set win at #3 to make it 1-3.  Andrew Ball would fight for a 6-1 third set win to make it 2-3.  Alex Steinroeder would dig out a third set breaker with some clutch volleys to tie the match at 3-3, which turned all eyes to the #2 court, where Shaun Chaudhuri had somehow managed to take Memphis' Joe Salisbury to a third set.  Salisbury turned up the heat in the third set, using all the variety of a pro to slice, dice and chop our star, Shaun Chaudhuri down to size.   It was a tough to come so close, but a marvelous match in terms of competitiveness and sportsmanship from both sides.

 

Memphis is in the same tournament with us in San Diego two weeks from now, so we're itching for a rematch!

 

 



--
Dave Fish
Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
Murr Center
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163
fish@fas.harvard.edu
GoCrimson Men's Tennis website
Harvard Men's Tennis blog

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#24 Harvard Tennis: New and Views; Preview of our first home matches/recap of ECAC final

#24 Harvard Tennis: New and Views

 

Weekend Matches: we need your support!

 

            Come watch Harvard face off against the Northwestern Wildcats this Friday evening at 6pm.  This is our first home match of the season.  Northwestern is ranked #29 in the country and has lots of young talent.   On Sunday, at noon, the Crimson will face off against #22 Memphis.  This will be another tough test and a chance to watch some great tennis.  Join us!  We would love to have you in the stands.  

 

And, if you can't make it out in person, this will be the first chance for you all to trying out our new streaming capacity: http://www.ivyleaguedigitalnetwork.com/

 

Very sorry, but not able to get by current ILDN policies to provide this on a complimentary basis to members of the Friends of Harvard Tennis 

 

ECAC Humble Pie:  The update from Hanover         

 

            After strong wins against Penn (4-1) and Cornell (4-0), the Crimson Netters squared off against their rivals from the Big Apple – the Columbia Lions.   It was an old fashioned beat down with Columbia firing on all cylinders.  While the top-pairing of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster soundly defeated Columbia's duo (who were ranked #14 the country), the doubles point went to the Lions with wins at #2 and #3. 


Although Denis Nguyen was leading the Lions top singles player, Winston Lin (ranked #8 in the country),  the younger players fell quickly prey to the veteran Lions,  losing at #3, #5 and #6.  Almost before the match got going – it was over.  Two other singles matches looked like they might turn in Harvard's favor but were stopped once Columbia clinched the fourth point.    Our hats are  off to the Lions.  They were razor sharp - it seemed like every shot they hit went in! 

 

Hope we'll give them a better match come April!

 



--
Dave Fish
Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
Murr Center
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163
fish@fas.harvard.edu
GoCrimson Men's Tennis website
Harvard Men's Tennis blog

Saturday, February 15, 2014

News and Views: #25 Men's Tennis Update

News and Views:  #25 Men's Tennis Update

 

ECAC Championships:  Hanover, NH

 

This weekend the Crimson netters are enjoying a trip to Dartmouth and the ECAC Championships.   The #25 Harvard team is the first seed in the tournament that features most of the Ivy schools along with George Washington.  In first round action, the Crimson will face off today against a strong Penn team loaded with young (and big) talent at 3pm.  You can follow the action on Twitter (@HMTofficial).   The draw can be found by clicking here.  

 

Today, we will have 10 players competing in a dual match for the second time this season (out of a possible 12).   Four doubles specialists to go along with the six singles players.  While I can't locate any official records, I am very confident there is no other team in the country with that many players competing in a dual match on a regular basis.    We have such a deep squad and take great pride in having everyone contribute. 

 

Minneapolis Weekend Recap:  Two Golden 4-3 Wins

 

Last weekend, the team survived two fierce 4-3 battles against #39 Minnesota Golden Gophers and #34 Tulsa.  While the Minnesota match came down to freshmen Andrew Ball at #6 singles (eking out a 11-9 second set breaker), the Tulsa match rested on the shoulders of our #1 gun, Denis Nguyen.

 

Tulsa jumped out to take an early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point (Harvard is a meager 1-3 in doubles this season – must be the poor coaching!), which left the Crimson needing to win four of the six singles matches.   The boys went right to work to even the score –Alex Steinroeder and Andrew Ball notched straight set wins to keep us close at #5 and #6.  Brian Yeung couldn't overcome a talented Alejandro Espejo at the #3 position – leaving the match all square at 2-2.  While Shaun Chaudhuri fell in a tough third set at #2, Sebastian Beltrame closed out his first win of the season at #4 by breaking serve at 5-4 in the third. 

 

Now Denis was left on court against the Golden Hurricanes' top dog, Japie De Klerk, who was an NCAA semifinalist last season.   Denis actually had match points in the second set at 5-4 on the no-add point when De Klerk dropped a 125 mph ace to the T.  Denis raced out to a 4-1 lead in the second set tie-breaker before the Hurricane ace stormed back with incredible shot-making to force the final frame.  This was college tennis at its finest.  De Klerk is a big lanky South African with flat strokes (think Del Potro) and an Eastern forehand grip.  Denis was using his legs and laser backhand to rope his opponent side to side.  With both teams packed on the center court – the atmosphere was electric.  Denis got up a break mid-way through the third set and was able to break again to win the match 6-3.    

 



--
Dave Fish
Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
Murr Center
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163
fish@fas.harvard.edu
GoCrimson Men's Tennis website
Harvard Men's Tennis blog