MacMaster has been part of the lethal doubles pairing with Alistair Felton who helped Harvard go 10-1 in the spring season. (Gil Talbot)
The No. 26 men's tennis team will head to San Diego Calif., to compete in the Hiton Mission Valley Spring Classic. Harvard will play UC Irvine in the first round of the tournament with a field that consists of No. 31 University of San Diego, No. 42 San Diego State, No. 54 Purdue, Pacific, Marquette, Oklahoma State University and UC Irvine.
Last Time Out
Harvard tore through the ECAC tennis tournament, first defeating Yale 4-1, then taking on Dartmouth, winning against the Big Green 4-2 and facing Brown in the finals. Harvard struggled out of the gate falling 2-1 in doubles competition and yielding the doubles point to the bears. The Crimson needed four singles wins to take the ECAC title and got just that as senior Jon Pearlman, sophomore Christo Schultz, and freshmen Henry Steer and Shaun Chaudhuri all won their singles contests and helped Harvard to a 4-1 victory, taking the ECAC Championship.
Scouting UC Irvine
Harvard will open the tournament playing UC Irvine in round one of the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic. The 'Eaters are 1-9 this year, most recently falling to Santa Clara 7-0. Fabian Matthews has been the big story for UC Irvine as he was recently included as the 73rd ranked singles player in the country. Mathews sports a 14-5 overall record having gone 6-3 in dual matches and 8-2 in tournament play. The doubles team of Mathews and Ryan Cheung has been UC Irvine's best doubles paring recording a 8-6 record overall as the duo went 3-4 in dual matches and 5-2 in tournament action.
Last year Harvard took the consolation championship at the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic. Harvard opened up against East Tennessee St. and fell 5-2 pushing them to the consolation bracket. The Crimson then faced UAB as it won five singles matches along with the doubles point to take down Blazers 6-1. In the consolation finals Harvard met Denver and edged a tough Pioneers team by getting key victories from Casey MacMaster and Joshua Tchan, defeating Denver 4-3 to take the consolation bracket.
Rank and File
Harvard has shot up the ITA tennis rankings since the first poll came out on Jan. 3. The Crimson who started out ranked 70 according to the national poll, has made its way up to No. 26 in the country. The biggest jump came between the rankings on Feb. 22, when Harvard was slotted 52, and Feb. 28, when they launched up to No. 27.
A Class of Their Own
Since the beginning of the fall season it was obvious that the class of 2015 had the skill and promise to be regular contributors for the Crimson. However looking back I'm not sure anyone realized what a strong this freshman class would turn out to be. When looking at the stats four of the team's best overall records have come from the class of 2015. Shaun Chaudhuri (19-6), Denis Nguyen (16-6), Henry Steer (15-6) and Alex Steinroeder (17-6) have all paid big dividends for the Crimson helping Harvard go 10-1 so far this spring. Chaudhuri is currently undefeated when competing in dual matches going 11-0 through the season thus far.
Sophomore Christo Schultz rejoined the team for the spring campaign and has made an immediate impact so far in 2012. Schultz has not lost a match so far in singles competition going 2-0 tournament play and 8-0 in dual matches so far. Meanwhile he has gone 6-1 in doubles play.