|Matchup||Harvard vs. Dartmouth|
|Date||March 31, 2018|
|Venue||Beren Tennis Center|
|Watch||Ivy League Network|
|Series||Harvard leads, 73-9|
|Last Meeting||W, 4-1 (2017)|
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 27 Harvard men's tennis team is set to begin Ivy League play this Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m., welcoming No. 32 Dartmouth to the Beren Tennis Center. If the match is moved indoors, it will be played at the Murr Center Tennis Courts and be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.
Last Time Out
Earning its ninth home victory to remain unbeaten in Cambridge this season, the Crimson recorded two sweeps against Buffalo (4-0) and Marist (7-0) in a doubleheader last Saturday. Harvard won the doubles point in both matches as Jean Thirouin and Robert Wrzesinski dominated by clinching the point for Harvard in both contests. Wrzesinski also claimed the match-clinching point in singles at the No. 5 spot against Buffalo, while Andrew Ball sealed it at the No. 3 slot against Marist.
The Big Green is 14-4 approaching the start of Ivy League play, and 3-2 away from home court. Dartmouth recently dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 22 Memphis its last time out. Doubles partners Charlie Broom and David Horneffer, ranked 47th in the nation, lead the team with a 10-5 record. Dartmouth and Harvard have previously met this season in the finals of the ECAC Tournament where the Crimson fell, 4-1.
In the Rankings
Harvard was ranked No. 27 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released on March 27. The Crimson previously reached its highest ranking of the season at No. 23 the week of March 6. Harvard now ranks second among four Ivy institutions in the top 50, with Columbia ringing in at No. 13, Dartmouth at No. 32 and Cornell at No. 41.
The Crimson is unstoppable in Cambridge, posting a 9-0 record so far after adding two more home wins to its record last weekend. Nine of Harvard's 16 wins this season have come at the Murr Center Tennis Courts. Over the course of those nine wins, Harvard has outscored its opponents 44-16. The last time the Crimson went undefeated at home was in 2012 when it posted a 12-0 mark.
Tao at the Top
Senior co-captain Kenny Tao has proved to be a force to be reckoned with this spring, owning a 9-0 record in the No. 1 singles spot. Tao's unbeaten streak dates back to Jan. 28 when he defeated Utah's No. 1 spot. All but one of Tao's victories have come in straight set wins over his opponents.
Robert Wrzesinski is currently on a seven-match win streak after adding another match-clinching victory at the No. 5 spot for the Crimson against Buffalo last Saturday.
The freshman completed a stellar performance at the San Diego Spring Classic, recording a shutout with three wins in singles play, two of which were match-clinching victories. Over the course of the tournament, Wrzesinski notched a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 37 Texas Tech to advance the Crimson to the finals of the tournament. The Vilnius, Lithuania native is now 16-7 in singles play in his first season at Harvard.
Harvard has been dominant in doubles play, winning the doubles point in 14 of its 18 matches this spring season. The Crimson's No. 1 doubles pair Kenny Tao and Logan Weber lead the team at 9-7, ranked 77th nationally.
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.
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.
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!
The Crimson will travel to Brown on Saturday, April 6th for a 2 p.m. match up.