HMT News: Harvard Downs Dartmouth 4-1 in Ivy Opener
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The Ivy Tennis Season is officially underway and the Crimson Netters hit the ground running with a strong performance against the Big Green in Hanover. Dartmouth has been a pesky foe the last few seasons. They qualified for the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in well over a decade. We knew we were facing a tough and experienced squad on their home turf.
Photo: Sophomore Chris Morrow lunging for a volley on spring break. Big thanks to photographer Dean Bauer for all the amazing action shots! He is the man behind most of our images!
The doubles point set the tone of the day. We jumped on them from the first point and went up an early break on all three courts. Third doubles, featuring freshmen Logan Weber and sophomore Chris Morrow, would be the first to notch a victory with a complete 6-2 win. Their aggressive net movement and reflex volley prowess made the difference, as well as their perfect conversion rate on no-Add deuce points. At second doubles, captains Sebastian Beltrame and Jean Thirouin would also go up an early break and seal the deal 6-4. Brian Yeung and Kenny Tao, at first doubles, were up three match points when the game was stopped for singles. Our practices have focused on building strong doubles technique in all phases of the game and their hard work is clearly paying off.
In singles, most of the matches were convincing straight set performances. Dartmouth's senior George Wall would notch the match at 1-1 with a strong win at #5 against Grant Solomon. Next to finish was Kenny Tao at #1 against Ciro Riccardi. Kenny put the hammer down with his laser forehands and aggressive court positioning that often led to finishing points with open court volleys. As a result, Kenny finished with a strong win 6-2, 6-2. Shortly afterwards, Chris Morrow at #6 put us ahead 3-1 with an all-court performance. Chris has great variety in his game and surely would have been a super-star player in the wood rackets era. He can slice, serve and volley, stay back and rally as well as hunt short balls to attack. With all phases working at the same time, he is very tough to beat. Chris went on to win 6-1, 6-4. Now, with three matches left on court, we needed one more point to seal the victory. Jean Thirouin at #2 had just split sets against their top freshmen recruit and was starting the third. Andy Zhou at #4 was down a set and a break in the second. Both matches were very close but tilting towards the Big Green. Senior Brian Yeung at #3 was our best chance to clinch being up a set and two breaks in the second. After his Dartmouth opponent fought off one break, Brian pulled out his best serves of the day to finish the job with several un-returnable canon serves. Watching Brian be mobbed by his teammates after bringing us across the finish line 4-1 was a highlight.
This Friday at 2p we host Brown and Sunday at 2p we go against the Bulldogs of Yale in New Haven. We are hoping for a record turnout at Yale for this annual rivalry match. Please join us!
SINGLES 1) Kenny Tao (Harvard) def. Ciro Riccardi (Dartmouth), 6-2, 6-2 2) Jean Thirouin (Harvard) vs. Charlie Broom (Dartmouth), 6-4, 2-6 (DNF) 3) Brian Yeung (Harvard) def. Max Fliegner (Dartmouth), 6-3, 6-3 4) Andy Zhou (Harvard) vs. David Horneffer (Dartmouth), 4-6, 3-4 (DNF) 5) George Wall (Dartmouth) def. Grant Solomon (Harvard), 6-0, 6-2 6) Christopher Morrow (Harvard) def. Eddie Grabill (Dartmouth), 6-1, 6-4