Friday, September 28, 2007

ECAC first day: mission accomplished...

ECAC Fall Team Championships: Flushing Meadows, Queens

First Round: Harvard Crimson vs. George Washington Colonials

Day 1: Friday, September 28 – 2007. Our first team match of the season. We took the courts at 11:30 on a windy day at the site of the US Open with the Perisphere from the old World's Fair looming in the background. All three doubles went to Harvard in short order, though our new teams at #2 and #3 are still waiting to hit their strides. In singles, the freshman Alexei Chijoff-Evans and Aba Omodele Lucien donned their Harvard gear for the first time in actual combat with their names emblazoned on their backs. Alexei, a lanky and blond Texan, whose demeanor might suggest a Southern California surfer rather than a Lone Star cowboy, garnered his first win at five singles against Ryan Schlachter 7-6 (0), 6-2 ( N.B. the rare bagel in the breaker). Alexei likes to drive groundstrokes and push forward to finish the points at net. Aba, who hails from Berkeley California, has a high-octane game with picture perfect strokes and a heavy one-handed backhand that would make Jack Barnaby and our older alums proud. Aba made quick work of his colonial opponent 6-3, 6-1. Watch out for Will Guzick and Tim Wu, our other two freshmen, who will contribute mightily to this years campaign though they did not play today. Chris "Colonel" Clayton made a Patton-like statement today playing #2 singles sending his GW opponent back to "Foggy Bottom" Washington with a 6-3,6-1 whipping. Just what one would expect from a veteran co-captain. Our other captain and spiritual core, Dan Nguyen won his match by the same score. Sasha "Sachet" Ermakov won in a business like fashion 7-5, 6-3. Our only loss of the day was in a match shortened SuperBreaker for the third set, which Ashwin Kumar lost 11-9 to a strong Mutafa Gencsoy of George Washington.

This is actually our second official tournament after we competed two weeks ago at UVA Invitational in a flighted singles and doubles tournament. The freshmen are still finding their way at Harvard. Before our first away trip to Virginia, Dave and I reminded the frosh that our travel attire included a jacket, tie, button down shirt and slacks. Aba sheepishly asked where he might be able to acquire the requisite clothes and I suggested the GAP as cheap and easy alternative. "Where is the GAP?" Aba (not Abba), responded. "Oh, right down the street from the COOP." I pointed out. "Where is the COOP?" Aba shot back. You can't get any greener than that.

Your Harvard Crimson will battle the Penn Quakers at 8:00am tomorrow morning. Penn is the two time defending champion of the event and we are looking forward to making our mark and testing our mettle against stiffer competition.

Andrew Rueb '95 (new Assistant Coach and staff writer)

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