CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Though the temperatures outside and ice on the ground may signify winter, the spring tennis season has arrived and so have the first ITA rankings of the season. The polls have two Crimson men's doubles pairs in the top 50, as well as tabbing the Harvard men's program as a top 65 team to start the year.
Junior Alistair Felton and sophomore Andy Nguyen start the spring ranked No. 46 in doubles. The pair went 9-4 in the fall, which included winning the ITA Northeast Region with a 5-0 mark and playing two closely contested matches against ranked doubles pairs from Cal and UCLA, respectively, at the ITA Indoor National Championship. At that championship, Felton and Nguyen lost their final match of the fall, 9-8, with a 7-5 tiebreaker to end it, against the Bruins duo of Amit Inbar and Nick Meister, who begin this spring ranked No.18.
Sophomore Christo Schultz and junior Jonathan Pearlman come into the spring ranked No. 50 in the nation after posting a 6-2 record together in the fall. The pair's final loss of the fall season came in the semifinals of the ITA Northeast Region Championship when it retired due to academic obligations. Schultz began the fall ranked No. 36 in doubles along with senior Aba Omodele-Lucien.
The Harvard men's tennis team begins the spring ranked No. 64 in the nation. Other nationally-ranked Ivy League teams include No. 48 Columbia, No. 65 Cornell and No. 71 Yale. Those teams, along with No. 13 Louisville, No. 46 Indiana, No. 50 Binghamton, No. 59 Northwestern and No. 75 William & Mary, give Harvard at least eight nationally-ranked opponents on its 2011 schedule. Virginia is this spring's top-ranked team, followed by Southern California, Tennessee, Ohio State and Texas in the top five.