Denis Nguyen was one of five singles players to play a three-set match Saturday at Columbia (Gil Talbot).
NEW YORK – In a battle between the Ivy League's top two teams, the Harvard men's tennis team could not overcome a raucous crowd and a powerful Columbia lineup, dropping a 7-0 decision to the Lions in its Ivy League-opening match. The loss puts Harvard at 11-6 on the season while Columbia improves to an impressive 15-1.
Doubles was closely contested, especially on the first and third courts, but Columbia made sure to grab the opening point of the match to put the pressure on the Crimson. The Lions' top team of Narayana and Schnur edged out Harvard's Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen, 8-7, and the Crimson's Sebastian Beltrame and Christo Schultz fell by a similar score on the third court.
All but one singles match stretched to a third set, but once again, it was the home team that clawed for the victories. Beltrame was the first to finish in singles, dropping a 6-2, 6-0 match on the second singles court in the lone straight-set contest of the day. Shaun Chaudhuri (No. 3), Steinroeder (No. 4) and Brian Yeung (No. 5) all captured the first set of their respective singles match, giving the Crimson life in the battle.
Rookie singles specialist Andrew Ball dropped the first set quickly at No. 6, but fought back to take the second and fended off a handful of match points before eventually falling, 6-1, 5-7, 7-5. Chaudhuri would go onto drop the second and third sets in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 defeat, and Steinroeder would do the same in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 final. Yeung and first singles player Nguyen would retire in the third sets of their matches upon the decision of the match.
Harvard continues its Ivy slate tomorrow as it travels to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Cornell in a 1 p.m., match.
#1 - Narayana/Schnur (Columbia) def. Nguyen/MacMaster (Harvard) 8-7
#2 - Lin/Vermeer (Columbia) def. Yeung/Hu (Harvard) 8-4
#3 - Vancura/Pham (Columbia) def. Beltrame/Schultz (Harvard) 8-7
#1 - Lin (Columbia) def. Nguyen (Harvard) 6-1, 4-6, 4-3 (retired)
#2 - Ignat (Columbia) def. Beltrame (Harvard) 6-2, 6-0
#3 - Schnur (Columia) def. Chaudhuri (Harvard) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
#4 - Narayana (Columbia) def Steinroeder (Harvard) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
#5 - Vancura (Columbia) v. Yeung (Harvard) 6-7, 7-5, 2-1 (retired)
#6 - Vermeer (Columbia) def. Ball (Harvard) 6-1, 5-7, 7-5