Men & Women’s Tennis Complete Successful Weekend With Victories Over Columbia, Cornell | Sport

“One thing that our team has really come a long way this semester is with our confidence and belief in ourselves,” said freshman Holly Fischer. “So I think even though we were down, everyone who played fought so hard and really left everything out on the field.”

Harvard’s women’s and men’s tennis teams had grueling weekends against Ivy League opponents Columbia and Cornell, with the men on the road in New York and the women on the home field in Cambridge. After long, hard-fought matches from both teams on Saturday and Sunday, the Crimson women and men went off with two more victories each, well equipped for a strong finish to regular season competitions.

DAMES TENNIS

On Saturday, Harvard (12-7, 3-0 Ivy League) set the tone for a successful weekend with a crucial 4-1 victory over No. 56 Columbia at the Murr Center in Cambridge, MA, securing Crimson’s fifth straight win.

“When we went into this weekend, our team was focused and we were definitely all super motivated,” Fischer said. “We knew it was going to be two tough fights on the way.”

The preparation paid off immediately when Harvard got off to a burning start in double play, with the duo of first-year Angel You and second-year student Iveta Daujotaite finishing first with a 7-5 victory, followed by Fischer and first-year Maxi Duncan who secured. the point with a 6-4 victory.

“I really like playing with [Duncan] and I think our games compliment each other really well, ”said Fischer. “We both like to play very aggressively, so we had a clear idea of ​​how we would play against Columbia and what we would do on the pitch.”

The Crimson continued to find success against the Lions in singles, with You and sophomore Sany Gawande beating their Columbia opponents 6-0, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-2, respectively. On the fourth course, junior Mihaela Marculescu was defeated in equal sets, 6-2, 6-2, which tightened up the match and left it to Fischer, Duncan and junior Sophia Ho to finish it. After a 6-4 victory in the first set, Fischer was challenged in the second set, which brought the set to a score of 6-5 before the last few servings. In the end, Fischer broke through and secured a 7-5 victory, thus getting the fight for Harvard.

“Everyone on our team really fought for every point because we knew the games could go both ways,” Fischer said. “After the last point, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief because the whole day was very intense.”

Crimson continued to experience success Sunday against Cornell, ending the day against the Big Red with their sixth win in a row by a 4-2 margin. Fischer and Duncan carried their momentum from the day before in doubles with a dominant 6-0 performance against a duo from Columbia. Senior Rachel Lim and Marculescu followed up with a similarly convincing 6-2 victory to capture the double point, which in turn set the team up early.

In singles, Harvard found itself in a bit more trouble. Gawande secured a victory on the sixth lane, 6-3, 6-2, but Ho and Fischer dropped their matches by 6-2, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-1, respectively. Fischer noted that despite those losses that tied the match at 2-2, the Crimson women have learned over the course of the season to stay robust and stick together until the end.

“Cornell is definitely a difficult team and I think even though the conditions were tough yesterday, everyone did what they could to find a way to get through their match, which I think was ultimately reflected in the team’s victory, ”Fischer said.

Duncan followed Fischer’s hard defeat with a huge 6-2, 6-1 victory on the second lane, leaving first-year Rachel Arbitman and senior Rachel Eason to secure the victory. Arbitman went the distance in a tense 7-6 (7-1) first set, but came out of shots in the second set with a statement 6-0 performance to clinch the match.

To close out the regular season, four more Ivy League opponents await at Harvard, including No. 48 Princeton this Saturday and No. 62 Yale in late April. Crimson will look to maintain their success against their biggest rivals as it nears the end of the regular season

LORD TENNIS

Harvard No. 16 started the weekend with a decisive 4-1 win over No. 23 Columbia, their second win in the Ivy League this spring. This also marks Crimson’s second win over the Lions this season.

Senior captain Brian Shi acknowledged the importance of this victory for the team.

“It’s always hard to take on Columbia, they are such a great team,” he said. “For the last couple of years, they’ve been pretty much our biggest rival and the team to beat in the Ivy League.”

Harvard took the double point by securing victories in the two best games. Shi and freshman Daniel Milavsky took on Columbia’s Theo Winegar and Max Westphal on Lane 1 and eventually won the set 6-1. Meanwhile, sophomore Ronan Jachuck and junior Harris Walker Alex Kotzen and Henry Ruger of the Lions battled in a close 7-5 set. Both duos struggled to get the necessary break and went back and forth to the last.

“It came down to just a few points at the end to get a 6-5 break to close the set and win the double point,” Jachuck explained. “We executed really well and committed to playing our aggressive tennis.”

Singles were similarly successful for the Crimson with three wins in a row. Walker defeated Max Westphal 6-2, 6-3 on Lane 3, while Jachuck secured a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Austen Huang. Shi fought to a tie-break in his first set, but came back with a rematch in the second to win 7-6 (6), 6-0.

A combination of momentum from the first set and support from his teammates helped Shi maintain his lead. “I saw my team get hyped, and I used that to get over the finish line,” Shi recalled.

After their victory in Columbia, Harvard was back on the road to Cornell. In a slightly closer matchup, Crimson won 4-2 and continued their 3-0 Ivy League winning streak, bringing their record for the season to 13-4.

Once again, Harvard took the lead over their opponent in doubles and got the double point. Jachuck and Walker had an effective battle on lane two against Cornell’s Adit Sinha and Nathan Mao, serving the set for a 6-3 victory. On the third course, Henry von der Schulenburg and junior Steven Sun took a second break and took the set 6-4 against Radu Papoe and Pietro Rimondini.

“[Walker] and I will always play our matches on our terms, ”Jachuck said. “We got an early break and gave the break back, but we felt like it was us playing.”

Singles proved to be challenging, with the top half of Cornell’s lineup coming out swinging. Shi fell to Vladislav Melnic in equal sets, 4-6, 4-6, marking the end of his 13-game winning streak. Despite the loss, Shi was not discouraged.

“I did not play as well at a level as I hoped and I know I can, but I am not so sorry for the match, because as a team we were able to come out with the victory,” he said. .

Although Harvard lost in the top two games, number three defeated Walker Cornell’s Radu Papoe 6-2, 7-6 (3), and Jachuck quickly beat Evan Bynoe 6-0, 6-1 in fourth place. This win over Big Red leads Crimson into the next phase of the Ivy League competition when Harvard meets Princeton and Penn at home next weekend.

-Staff Writer David Aley can be contacted at david.aley@thecrimson.com.

– Staff writer Caroline Gage can be contacted at caroline.gage@thecrimson.com.

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