Men's Tennis Defeats BU, 6-1, After Narrow Loss to No. 44 Memphis

Jean Thirouin won a three set match at No. 3 singles against Kai Lemke of Memphis on Sunday afternoon. (Dean Bauer)

The Harvard men's tennis team split a pair of dual matches on Sunday against No. 44 Memphis (7-2) and Boston University (5-7), falling to the Tigers, 4-3 in a fight to the finish, before beating Boston University, 6-1, in the nightcap. Harvard moved to 7-6 on the season.

"It was a great college match today," said associate head coach Andrew Rueb of the Memphis match. "It came down to one point. Memphis got us by a nose and they deserved the win. But to see our teams progress this season has been exciting from the top to the bottom of the lineup."

Harvard earned the doubles point for the third time in the last four dual matches, including a fifth straight win for the 27th-ranked tandem in the nation, Kenny Tao and Brian Yeung. Harvard's No. 1 doubles pair won its fifth straight match, beating Kai Lemke/Andrew Watson, 7-5. That match clinched the doubles point after Christopher Morrow and Logan Weber took care of business in the No. 3 spot, winning 6-4.

"We've won three of the last four doubles points and we are starting to hit our stride," Rueb said. "Tao and Yeung are on a tear at No. 1."

In singles competition, Jean Thirouin and Christopher Morrow won matches in the No. 3 and No. 6 spots, while Memphis won singles matches at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4. In the midst of a deciding third set in the final singles match at No. 5, Grant Solomon was forced to retire due to injury, and Memphis won the match.

Later in the day, Harvard improved to 14-0 all-time in dual matches against BU, as the Crimson swept all three doubles matches, and won five of six in singles play.

"Against BU, there were a lot of notable performances," Rueb said. "Sam Beren captured a convincing win at No. 2.  Galen Lee put together his best match of the season at No. 3. Xavier Gonzalez played his best set of the year in the second to win in straights, and Michael Peters notched another win for the Crimson at No. 6."

Harvard will break next weekend before returning to action in California for a dual match at UC Irvine on March 13.

"The energy and fight our team is showing this year is something to behold," Rueb said. "It is exciting to be a part of. They are practicing with this kind of intensity every day, and that is when good things happen. We are looking forward to the second half of the season."

#44 Univ. of Memphis 4, Harvard 3
Feb 26, 2017 at Cambridge, Mass. (Murr Center Tennis Courts)
Singles competition
1. Ryan Peniston (MEMPHIS) def. Kenny Tao (HARV) 7-5, 6-3
2. Andrew Watson (MEMPHIS) def. Brian Yeung (HARV) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Jean Thirouin (HARV) def. Kai Lemke (MEMPHIS) 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Chris Patzanovsky (MEMPHIS) def. Andy Zhou (HARV) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
5. Jan Pallares (MEMPHIS) def. Grant Solomon (HARV) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5), retired
6. Christopher Morrow (HARV) def. Felix Rauch (MEMPHIS) 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Kenny Tao/Brian Yeung (HARV) def. Kai Lemke/Andrew Watson (MEMPHIS) 7-5
2. Felix Rauch/Ryan Peniston (MEMPHIS) def. Michael Peters/Jean Thirouin (HARV) 7-6 (7-1)
3. Christopher Morrow/Logan Weber (HARV) def. Matt Story/Jan Pallares (MEMPHIS) 6-4

Harvard 6, Boston University 1
Feb. 26, 2017 at Cambridge, Mass. (Murr Center Tennis Courts)
Singles competition
1. Kenny Tao (HARV) def. Lucas Bombonatti (BOSTONU) 6-4, 6-4
2. Samuel Beren (HARV) def. Jay Leelavanich (BOSTONU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
3. Galen Lee (HARV) def. Marc Sable (BOSTONU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Jake De Vries (BOSTONU) def. Logan Weber (HARV) 7-6, 2-6, 10-7
5. Xavier Gonzalez (HARV) def. Mario Sandoval (BOSTONU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-1
6. Michael Peters (HARV) def. J.P. Avila (BOSTONU) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Michael Peters/Brian Yeung (HARV) def. Lucas Bombonatti/Satyajit Simhadri (BOSTONU) 6-0
2. Christopher Morrow/Logan Weber (HARV) def. Jake De Vries/Mario Sandoval (BOSTONU) 7-6 (7-1)
3. Galen Lee/Samuel Beren (HARV) def. Jay Leelavanich/J.P. Avila (BOSTONU) 6-4