Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Harvard Men's Tennis Newsletter

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Dear HMT Family,

We are gearing up for the Ivy League season in April.  The hard work has been done in the weight room, on the track, and between the lines of the court.  Now it is the time to savor the competition and trust the training.  We travel to Cornell to play the Big Red this Saturday and on Sunday we face off against the Columbia Lions at 1pm in NYC.  Join us!  

ITA College Tennis Overview
This season in college tennis has featured more volatility than in any year in history.  The scuttlebutt is that no-add scoring and shortened doubles format are leading to more upsets.  This past weekend, #49 Vanderbilt beat #7 Texas A&M, #36 SMU defeated #5 Oklahoma State and #8 USC lost to #39 Washington.  Those kinds of results were unheard of in the past when the distance between the top teams and the middle of the pack was much greater.  The tennis world is getting flatter and the competitive margins are thinner.  Teams can go from the top 10 to out of the rankings in one year (Duke) and old powerhouses such as Stanford can struggle (currently ranked #43).
Our season has been no different—full of ups and downs.  We are 5-3 in contests that came down to the last match.  Our great wins against Vandy and Drake were highlights, while losses to St. John's and Cornell were lowlights.  We lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to Denver on spring break but rallied back to beat a strong San Diego State Team the following day. 

We want to thank all our host families and parents for coming out and supporting the team.  What an amazing week of fun in La Jolla.  This trip is the highlight of the year and a well deserved reward for all the hard work over the long Boston winter (and all those freezing walks over the bridge)! We actually had more fans at the San Diego State match than the home team.  Thanks to parents for sponsoring dinners, host families for taking care of our boys, and to our alums whose contributions make this trip possible! 

The boys having lunch at a market in Rancho Valencia. 

Harvard Crimson vs. Old Dominion Monarchs
This past weekend, the #50 Crimson took on the #38 Old Dominion Monarch in a good old-fashioned dog fight. 

We lost the doubles point after getting our serves broken at 4-3 on all three courts.  ODU added to their lead with an an award-winning performance at the top of the lineup with their Swiss star, Adam Moundir, beating senior captain Nicky Hu decisively.  We marched back to win at the #4 and #5 positions in straights sets.  Andy Zhou, the freshman sensation, ripped into his opponent playing the kind of aggressive tennis that makes him so dangerous. Senior Kelvin Lam, Mr. Experience, outsmarted his Monarch foe by probing for weakness with his elastic forehand.  ODU rallied back to take #3 singles against Brian Yeung to put the Crimson in a 3-2 hole.  Sebastian Beltrame at #2 singles won the first set but fell behind 5-1 in the second set tiebreaker, before he worked his magic, rattling off six straight points to take the match and send the crowd into a frenzy.  All eyes then turned to freshmen, Chris Morrow, who was down 4-1 in the third set on court six.  With everything hanging in the balance, Chris started to play more aggressively instead of playing not to lose.  Since Chris is a Latin scholar the phrase,
Audaces fortuna iuvat, "fortune favors the bold," was the theme of his comeback.  He stormed back to take the match and was then mobbed by his teammates. Watch the video... 

ITA Point of the Year? 

We are nominating this point in our match against Amherst for ITA Point of the Year.  It is a doubles exchange with seniors Conor Haughey and Kelvin Lam coming out on top. It is on its way to becoming a viral sensation—don't miss it. Click here to view. 

Housing Day

When alums ask me about some of the changes at Harvard since our time (before the turn of the century), I always mention Housing Day. If you graduated roughly before 2000, you will want to read this article from the Harvard Gazette about this event, which is now a full-fledged extravaganza. This might come as a surprise to some of you (and those who were Quaded) but many students now cite this as their favorite day at Harvard.  This year, our freshmen were sent off to Kirkland, Dunster and Pfoho (Pforzheimer House, previously North House). 

You can always follow HMT on Facebook for great photos and articles or on Twitter for live-scoring on match days. The links are below. 

Best from Boston,

Andrew Rueb, Writer in residence
David Fish, Chair of the Racket Sports

Please don't include me in future emails.

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