Harvard takes to the road after winning its first three dual matches of the season, defeating Denver 4-0, Drake 4-1 and DePaul 4-0 last weekend. Harvard heads to the Midwest and can expect some stiff competition when they take on No. 36 Vanderbilt, No. 29 Indiana, and Butler on a three game road swing. The matches are slated for Feb. 3 (Vanderbilt) at 12 p.m., Feb. 4 (Indiana) scheduled for 2 p.m. and Feb. 5 (Butler) starting at 10 a.m.
Last Time Out
Harvard kicked off its dual season last weekend when it hosted Denver, Drake and DePaul for a two day round robin dual match tournament. Harvard opened up with the Pioneers Friday afternoon and impressed early, taking the doubles point behind the solid play of Casey MacMaster and Alistair Felton along with Christo Schultz and Jon Pearlman. In singles play the trio of Alex Steinroeder, Schultz and Shaun Chaudhuri won its singles matches to give Harvard the 4-0 victory over Denver.
Harvard began doubles play with Drake on Friday night as MacMaster and Felton once again won their match along with Shultz and Henry Steer to take a 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs headed into Saturday. Steinreoder and Schultz and Chaudhuri reeled in their second wins of the weekend to help lift the Crimson to a 4-1 win over Drake.
Later that day Harvard played in its final match of the weekend facing DePaul. Harvard took doubles for the third straight match with MacMaster and Felton and Schultz and Steer again taking wins. Steer, Schultz and Chadhuri all gained singles victories and Harvard improved to 3-0 on the year, beating DePaul 4-0.
Scouting The Competition
The No. 36 Commodores enter Friday's contest 2-1 on the year after recording wins against Middle Tennessee State and No. 49 BYU while losing to No. 12 Pepperdine. Charlie Jones has played out of the one spot for Vanderbilt and has gone 2-1 in three dual matches this season. Before its loss against Pepperdine, Vanderbilt had gone 8-3 in singles competition while going 3-3 in Doubles.
The No. 29 Hoosiers are 3-2 entering Saturday's match with the Crimson, most recently falling to No. 2 Ohio State. Indiana has recorded victories over Western Michigan, Toledo and No. 28 Notre Dame. Its number one singles player Isade Juneau has lost only one match since Jan. 6 between tournament and dual match action. Juneau has gone 7-1 in that span, with his only loss coming to Alex Musialek of No.7 Kentucky.
The Bulldogs enter having suffered three-straight defeats at No. 3 Ohio State (7-0) at Northern Illinois (5-2) and at Wisconsin (6-1). Austin Woldmoe has played out of the number one spot for Butler and has accrued a 1-2 record, registering a win against Northern Illinois' Maksym Bartiuk, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Meanwhile the top doubles paring of Billy Weldon and Woldmoe have gone 1-2 in their three matches recording a victory over Northern Illinios' Mikhail Titov and Roman Turtgin 8-1.
Harvard has limited history with the trio they play this weekend holding a 1-0 series lead over Vanderbilt, and has gone 1-2 against Indiana. In the only meeting with the Commodores, Harvard came away with a narrow 5-4 victory in a match played back in 1942. Meanwhile the Crimson has claimed one win over the Hoosiers in a contest in 1995, securing a 5-0 win, however recent history hasn't been kind to the Crimson as Indiana has defeated Havard 6-1 the last two years (2010 and 2011). Sunday will be the first time the Crimson has ever faced off against Butler.
So Far So Good
Harvard's first foray into dual matches this season was impressive on many accounts, but it's hard to overlook the 3-0 record that they hold. In fact the 3-0 start is the best beginning to its dual-match season since 2005 when it defeated St. Joseph's Penn and Princeton the team's opening weekend.
Nice to Meet You
While names like Steinroeder, Nguyen and Steer have been prominent when it comes to Harvard men's tennis, fans might want to become familiar with another, Shaun Chaudhuri. Chaudhuri went an impressive 3-0 from the fifth and sixth sports for the Crimson. Chaudhuri gained Harvard a singles point in every single contest he played this past weekend and helped the Crimson earn decisions over Denver, Drake and DePaul. With the wins, Chaudhuri has quietly put together a strong freshman campaign to this point tallying a 11-6 record which is the fourth-best singles mark on the team.
Aside from the freshman that have helped give the Crimson ample support through the fall and beginning of the spring season, it has been buoyed by the return of another player, Christo Schultz. The sophomore has been impressive in his first month of duty after taking a short break from team activities, going 4-0 in singles action and 5-0 in doubles play. Schultz competed out of the four spot this past weekend and went 2-0 in those matches.
Harvard will welcome No. 32 Virginia Tech and Boston University for two dual meets on Feb. 11 scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.