Sebastian Beltrame had two doubles and one singles win on the day Saturday (Photo: Dean Bauer).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After a week off from match play, a refreshed Harvard men's tennis squad took the courts for a long day of action, downing Michigan State, 5-2, in a noon match and defeating Bryant, 6-1, in the nightcap Saturday at the Murr Center Courts. Harvard ups its record to 8-4 on the year, heading into its annual spring break trip.
Looking for a strong doubles showing against the Spartans, the Crimson delivered by taking all three courts and earning the first point of the match. Harvard's top team of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster was able to play its game against the top Spartan team, notching an 8-6 win. The sophomore/freshman tandem of Nicky Hu and Brian Yeung followed suit with an 8-6 win of its own at No. 2, and Christo Schultz and Sebastian Beltrame completed the sweep with an 8-7 final on the third court.
The top singles players got the job done for the Crimson the rest of the way, as the hosts picked up wins on the first, second, third and sixth courts to secure the victory. Freshman Andrew Ball continued his strong run of play at No. 6, powering to a 6-3, 6-1 victory, and classmate Beltrame collected another straight-set win, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2. Nguyen had the honors of clinching the match for the Crimson, polishing off a 6-3, 6-4 victory on the first singles court. Junior Shaun Chaudhuri needed a third-set to deicide his match, but consistent play in the third-set tiebreaker allowed him to claim a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 1-0 (4) victory at third singles.
The Crimson took a 1-0 lead in the match against the Bulldogs, thanks to wins on the first and third doubles courts. Schultz and Beltrame moved up to the top spot and recorded a decisive 8-1 victory, and Kelvin Lam and Alex Steinroeder at No. 3 picked up an 8-3 victory.
Four of Harvard's five singles victories came in straight sets, including the top two matches. Chaudhuri, playing in the top singles spot, breezed to a 6-2, 6-1 win and Nicky Hu was nearly perfect in a 6-0, 6-1 win on the second court. Conor Haughey relinquished just two games in his 6-0, 6-2 win at six singles and MacMaster needed a first-set tiebreaker to grab a 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 5. Henry Steer was the final singles winner on the day for Harvard, rallying for a three-set win, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 on the fourth court.
Up next, Harvard heads west to defend its title at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic, which begins March 20.