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No. 25 Men’s Tennis Heads West for San Diego Spring Classic

No. 25 Men’s Tennis Heads West for San Diego Spring Classic
Matchup Harvard at San Diego State
Date March 15, 2018
Time 5:30 p.m. (EST)
Venue Lomas Santa Fe Country Club
Series Harvard leads, 11-5
Last Meeting W, 4-1 (2017)

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 25 Harvard men's tennis team is back in action this week after a two-week break, heading to California for the San Diego Spring Classic, March 15-17. Hosted by San Diego, the Crimson will face the San Diego State Aztecs in the first round on Thursday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. (EST). Other competitors in the tournament include No. 51 Arizona, No. 24 Memphis, Rice, No. 44 San Diego, No. 37 Texas Tech and No. 46 Utah State. 

Last Time Out
The Crimson hosted No. 46 Old Dominion, BU and Northwestern Friday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 25, adding three wins to its overall record for a 12-2 mark. Harvard in now on a four-match winning streak after taking 5-2, 5-2 and 4-3 decisions, respectively. Senior co-captain Kenny Tao went undefeated in singles and 1-1 in doubles in the No. 1 spot for the Crimson.

In the Rankings
Harvard was ranked No. 25 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released on Feb. 20. This is the Crimson's second highest ranking of the season, previously reaching No. 23 last week. Harvard is one of four Ivy institutions in the top 50, with Columbia ringing in at No. 9, Dartmouth at No. 22 and Cornell at No. 41.

Doubles pair Kenny Tao and Logan Weber have found themselves a spot in the rankings as well, pulling in at No. 40. In the No. 1 spot for the Crimson, the duo is 8-4 this season, recently picking up three straight wins at the ECAC Championships the weekend of Feb. 16-18.

Scouting San Diego State
The Aztecs head into the weekend 2-9 overall, searching for their first win on home court having posted a 0-3 record this season at the Aztec Tennis Center. Rafael Gonzalez Almazan leads San Diego State with a 12-8 record in the No. 5 singles spot and is 7-4 with doubles partner Raul de la Torre. The Crimson has defeated the Aztecs in each of its last five meetings, most recently adding a 4-1 win in last year's Mission Valley Spring Classic.

Doubles Dominant
Harvard has been dominant in doubles play, winning the doubles point in 10 of its 13 matches this spring season. The Crimson's No. 1 doubles pair Kenny Tao and Logan Weber lead the team at 8-4, ranked 40th nationally.

Scholarly Success
Xavier Gonzalez was named a 2018 Rhodes Scholar in November of 2017. As one of 31 Americans and four Harvard students chosen, Gonzalez will spend two years at the University of Oxford pursuing a Master of Science in mathematics. The Houston, Texas native is the fifth Harvard men's tennis player selected for the honor and one of 56 student-athletes at Harvard to earn the scholarship.

Fall Recap
Through five tournament appearances this fall, Harvard had several standout performances to carry into the spring season. At Harvard Chowder Fest Sept. 15-17, Kenny Tao finished as runner-up in singles, while Christopher Morrow and Logan Weber claimed second in doubles.

At Octoberfest, all members of the Crimson squad went undefeated in both singles and doubles play. Jean Thirouin and Andy Zhao had strong showings at the ITA Regional Championships Oct. 19-24, both advancing to the semifinals of the main singles draw. To cap off the season, Andrew Ball preserved perfection, tallying a 3-0 mark and lifting his overall record to 6-0.

Captains Elected
The Crimson elected Jean Thirouin and Kenny Tao as captains for the 2017-18 season. Thirouin returns for his second season as captain after posting a 22-10 mark in singles play last season. Tao finished the 2017 spring season with a record of 14-7 in singles play, including a 9-5 mark in the No. 1 spot.

Meet the Freshmen
The Harvard men's tennis class of 2021 includes Robert Wrzesinski (Vilnius, Lithuania/Vilniaus Adomo Mickeviciaus Gimnazija) and Constantin Zoske (Dusseldorf, Germany/St. Ursula-Gymnaisum).

Last Year
Harvard finished its 2016-17 season with an 18-9 record, including a 6-1 mark in conference play. A seven-game win streak between the period of March 24 and April 16 elevated the Crimson to a .667-win percentage and its 29th Ivy League title.

Leading the Way
David Fish, the Scott Mead '77 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Tennis, enters his 42nd season with the Crimson after coaching the men's tennis team to an 18-9 record last season and helping the Crimson to its 29th Ivy League title. Fish owns an all-time dual record of 684-313-1 and has led the Crimson to a top-40 finish in five of the last six seasons.

Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!

What's Next?
If the Crimson wins its first match, it will advance to face the winner of No. 51 Arizona and No. 37 Texas Tech this Friday at 10 a.m. Should Harvard lose, it will be entered into a consolation bracket.

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