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Men’s Tennis Takes Second at ECAC Team Championships, Falls to Columbia, 4-0, In Final

Casey MacMaster teamed with Denis Nguyen for a win at No. 1 doubles Monday (Photo: Dean Bauer).

HANOVER, N.H. –
After a pair of wins to begin the weekend, the Harvard men's tennis team fell just short of taking home the ECAC Team Championship, dropping a 4-0 decision to second-seeded Columbia Monday in the title match. The loss snaps a four-match win streak for the Crimson, which now stands at 4-3 in the year.

Monday's action began with three hard-fought doubles matches, two of which went the way of the Lions. Harvard's top team of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster fended off Columbia's talented pair of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur, 6-4, for the Crimson's lone doubles win. Nicky Hu and Brian Yeung dropped a 6-3 decision at second singles and Christo Schultz and Sebastian Beltrame fell, 6-4, on the third court, swinging the doubles point Columbia's way.

Columbia turned up the heat in singles, especially towards the back end of the lineup, collecting three straight-set wins to clinch the 4-0 victory. Yeung fell victim to Narayana on the third court, 6-1, 6-1, and Nicky Hu couldn't hold off Mike Vermeer at No. 6, dropping a 6-3, 6-2 final. Andrew Ball, who has been nearly flawless in singles through seven matches this season, battled hard on the fifth court but fell, 6-1, 6-4, to Bert Vancura, sealing the title for Columbia.

Harvard's remaining singles players all held leads in their respective matches, with Denis Nguyen (first singles) and Sebastian Beltrame (fourth singles) grabbing the first set in their respective matches. Shaun Chaudhuri, playing at No. 2, took the second set, 6-1, and was up 1-0 in the third when the match was decided.

Up next for Harvard is its first home weekend of the 2014 season. The Crimson takes on Northwestern Friday at 6 p.m., at the Murr Center Tennis courts, and hosts a doubleheader against Memphis and Boston University Sunday. All three matches will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network.