Aba Omodele-Lucien (pictured) clinched the match with a third set win at the No. 3 singles slot. (photo courtesy of DSPics.com.)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard men's tennis team topped Yale in the 86th installment of the rivalry on the courts in front of a packed house. The Crimson claimed a 4-3 victory over the Bulldogs, Sunday afternoon at the Murr Center Tennis Courts. Harvard ups its season record to 13-10 and moves to 4-2 in the Ivy League. Yale falls to 14-8 overall and 4-2 in the Ancient Eight. The two squads are now tied for third in the conference standings with one match remaining for each team.
The Crimson secured victories at the No. 1 and 2 doubles positions to gain the crucial doubles point. Aba Omodele-Lucien and Christo Schultz cruised to an 8-3 win at the top doubles spot. Alistair Felton and Andy Nguyen wrapped up the doubles point with an 8-6 win at the No. 2 position.
The doubles point proved to be the difference maker in the match as both squads earned three singles wins. Felton put Harvard up 2-0 as he breezed through his match at the No. 6 spot, winning in straight sets. Yale picked up its first point in the match with a win at the No. 5 singles slot. Schultz made the match score 3-1 with a victory at the No. 4 singles position. The first, second and third singles matches all needed a third set to decide the points. Omodele-Lucien clinched the match for the Crimson with a thrilling win at the No. 3 spot. After dropping the first set 6-3, the junior tied the second set score at four games all. He broke Calvin Bennett's serve to take a 5-4 lead in the set. Omodele-Lucien held his own serve with an array of winners to win the second set 6-4. In the third set, Omodele-Lucien rolled with the momentum to prevail 6-3, securing the win for Harvard.
The Crimson hits the courts Wednesday, April 21, to take on Dartmouth to close out the regular season. The match will mark the final time in his career that senior Michael Hayes will play on home turf for Harvard. The team will recognize its captain before the match.
1 Omodele-Lucien/Schultz (H) def. Blumenkranz/Savanha (Y) 8-3
2 Felton/Nguyen (H) def. Bennett/Powers (Y) 8-6
3 Hoffman/Huang (Y) def. McNamee/Tchan (H) 8-3
1 Powers (Y) def. Chijoff-Evans (H) 7-6 (1), 2-6, 6-3
2 Huang (Y) def. Tchan (H) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
3 Omodele-Lucien (H) def. Bennett (Y) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
4 Schultz (H) def. Hoffman (Y) 6-2, 6-3
5 Dawson (Y) def. Nguyen (H) 6-4, 6-4
6 Felton (H) def. Schimmel (Y) 6-1, 6-2