CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Picking up its third-straight shutout and 10th home victory of the season, the No. 27 Harvard men's tennis team earned a 4-0 win its in Ivy League opener over No. 32 Dartmouth this afternoon, March 31, at the Beren Tennis Center. The Crimson improved to 17-3, while the Big Green dropped to 14-5.
Harvard won its 15th doubles point of the season after battling to wins at No. 3 and 2. Jean Thirouin and Robert Wrzesinski opened the match with a 6-3 win on court three, before Andy Zhou and Grant Solomon topped Dartmouth's No. 2 pair, 7-5, to give the Crimson an early 1-0 lead.
The Crimson continued its momentum into singles play, claiming the first set in five out of six matches. Wrzesinski took control early on court five, dominating in his first set for a 6-0 win. The freshman extended Harvard's lead to 2-0 after battling to a 7-5 win in the second set. Harvard earned its third point of the day from Andy Zhou on court two by a score of 6-4, 6-3 to put the Crimson on the brink of victory.
Senior co-captain Kenny Tao clinched the match in a three-set triumph over Dartmouth's No. 1 spot. After taking set one 6-2 and falling 3-6 in the second, Tao ripped off six straight games to give Harvard its first Ivy League victory of the season.
"What a great day for college tennis. There were over 300 people packing the Beren Tennis Center and the atmosphere was electric," stated associate head coach Andrew Rueb. "We played a top team in Dartmouth whose been having a great season, which meant we had to play our best to win today."
"Everyone deserves credit for the win today. Doubles was a back and forth affair with both teams having and losing breaks of serve, but we kept playing aggressive and that was the key. In singles - everyone made it a competitive match and put us in a position to win. Hats off to freshmen Robert Wrzesinski for beating a tough senior opponent and Andy and Kenny helped put us over the finish line. They really committed to their games in tough conditions."
1. No. 77 Tao/Weber (Harvard) vs. No. 49 Broom/Horneffer (Dartmouth), 6-6, DNF
2. Zhou/Solomon (Harvard) def. Ross/Glasnovic (Dartmouth), 7-5
3. Thirouin/Wrzesinski (Harvard) def. Fliegner/Conklin (Dartmouth), 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2
1. Tao (Harvard) def. Broom (Dartmouth), 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
2. Zhou (Harvard) def. Martin (Dartmouth), 6-4, 6-3
3. Thirouin (Harvard) vs. Horneffer (Dartmouth), 6-3, 6-7, 0-0, DNF
4. Solomon (Harvard) vs. Fliegner (Dartmouth), 7-6, 2-5, DNF
5. Wrzesinski (Harvard) def. Riccardi (Dartmouth), 6-0, 7-5
6. Zoske (Harvard) vs. Conklin (Dartmouth), 4-6, 5-4, DNF
Order of finish: 5, 2, 1