Season Preview: Mens Tennis Sets Sights on Success in Spring
Pictured: Senior captain Michael Hayes will lead the Crimson into the spring campaign. (DSPics.com)
As the Harvard men’s tennis team opens up its dual
campaign, it looks to build upon the success from the fall season.
The Crimson collected 27 singles victories and 22 doubles wins in
the fall. The team earned three runner-up finishes and one title at
tournaments in the first half of the year.
“Our squad is less experienced, but they are more fearless,” said Dave Fish, the Scott Mead ’77 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Tennis. “They have show tremendous determination in going after each point in each match throughout the fall.”
Michael Hayes will serve as the team captain for the year and is the lone senior for the Crimson. The Sydney, Australia native sported a 6-4 record in the fall after owning a 14-16 mark last year.
Junior Alexei Chijoff-Evans will be looked upon for leadership on the court after sporting a 12-2 record at the No. 2 spot a year ago. The third year player out of Plano, Texas, also saw time at the No. 1 position, earning two wins. Chijoff-Evans was one of four players to garner 20 victories last season as he posted a 20-10 overall record. The junior was a unanimous All-Ivy first-team selection in singles, second-team in doubles and was also tabbed as the ITA Player to Watch for in the Northeast region last year.
Aba Omodele-Lucien will add experience and leadership to the Crimson. The junior saw action at the No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 positions last season and earned 10 victories last spring. Omodele-Lucien boasted a 5-5 record in the fall season.
Davis Mangham racked up an 8-1 record at the No. 5 slot a year ago and a 20-14 record overall. The sophomore out of Seattle, Wash. carries a 3-6 record into spring action.
Alistair Felton teamed up with Andy Nguyen to win the ITA Northeast Regional doubles title and earn six victories. Felton, a sophomore from Somerset, England, tallied 20 singles victories last season after playing at every position except the top spot.
Fish commented on the hard work put in by the team in the winter months saying, “the level of consistency is rising through the off-season. The players have worked hard on their technique and fundamentals. The goal is to minimize the number of errors, the more we can do that, and then the players become more formidable opponents.”
Nguyen, a freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., will see significant action in the top six singles positions and the top three doubles slots. Nguyen is coming off of a tremendous fall season where he posted a 7-4 record in singles play. The freshman made an immediate impact early in the year, winning three matches at the Harvard Invitational en route to being tabbed the “Corey Winn Freshman Player to Watch”.
Sophomores Liinus Hietaniemi and Mac McAnulty will add depth to the program in the spring.
Harvard kicks off the spring season at the Virginia Tech Tournament, Jan. 22-24. The Crimson’s first dual match is at Purdue, Feb. 20. The squad opens up Ivy League play, Apr. 2, at Columbia.