CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 50 Harvard men's tennis team (14-10, 2-2) upset No. 37 Princeton (14-8, 2-2), 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Murr Tennis Center. Junior Sebastian Beltrame clinched the match for the Crimson from the No. 2 position.
"It was a great college tennis match – full of quality play, lots of fight and great sportsmanship," said associate head coach Andrew Rueb. "The margins between the teams in the Ivy League are razor thin.
"It was great to see Sebastian close out the match – he has grown so much as a competitor in his time here. It is always tough to play when the match comes down to only you and he handled the pressure beautifully."
The Crimson went down early with a 2-1 loss at the doubles point. Harvard then won three of the first four singles matches to end, taking a 3-2 lead off wins from senior captain Nicky Hu and freshmen Andy Zhou and Chris Morrow.
"It was a great day for the freshmen, Andy Zhou and Chris Morrow continue to improve and are becoming a force," continued Rueb. "Nicky Hu was clutch at the top spot. It is never east having to face the ace of every team. There is so little breathing room there. He came back after a tough first set and locked it down. It was extremely high-level tennis."
Hu battled from a 6-3 loss in the first set with 6-3, 6-4 wins in sets No. 2 and No. 3. Zhou and Morrow handled their opponents in straight-sets.
Princeton's Josh Yablon earned a win on court four to square it at 3-3. On court No. 2, Beltrame won the first set, 6-3, before Tom Colautti earned the advantage 7-6 (5) in the second set. Beltrame took the match home with a 6-4 win in set three, clinching the contest for the Crimson.
Harvard hosts Yale for The Match Friday, April 15 at 6 p.m.
1. Day/Gamble (Princeton) def. (44) Hu/Brian Yeung (Harvard), 7-5
2. Beltrame/Jean Thirouin (Harvard) def. Colautti/Yablon (Princeton), 6-2
3. Jonathan Carcione/Vives (Princeton) def. Morrow/Zhou (Harvard), 6-4
1. (114) Nicky Hu (Harvard) def. Diego Vives (Princeton), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. Sebastian Beltrame (Harvard) def. Tom Colautti (Princeton), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4
3. Alex Day (Princeton) def. Kenny Tao (Harvard) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
4. Josh Yablon (Princeton) def. Kelvin Lam (Harvard), 3-6, 6-0, 6-3
5. Andy Zhou (Harvard) def. Luke Gamble (Princeton), 6-4, 6-4
6. Christopher Morrow (Harvard) def. Jimmy Wasserman (Princeton), 6-3, 6-0