Cornell Men’s Tennis Plays Host to Nationally Ranked Harvard, Dartmouth
ITHACA, N.Y. – The men’s tennis team will host two Ivy League matchups in a weekend for the only time this season when nationally ranked Harvard and Dartmouth visit Reis Tennis Center on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Cornell (7-12, 0-1 Ivy) is looking to end a four-match losing streak, which includes nailbiting 4-3 losses at Old Dominion and another at home against Columbia in the squad’s league debut last Saturday. The Big Red has played six 4-3 matches this season, with the winner of the doubles point taking the victory on every occasion — twice going Cornell’s way.
The Crimson leads the all-time series, 58-10, but the Big Red has won the last two matches. Cornell hasn’t faced 20th-ranked Harvard yet this season, but the teams crossed paths briefly at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals in October — splitting two singles matches and two doubles matches. Cornell freshman Quoc-Daniel Nguyen won a two-set match over Harvard’s Alex Steinroeder in the Round of 64, and the doubles team of freshmen Sam Fleck and Jason Luu scored an 8-4 victory over Steinroeder and Jonathan Pearlman. Fleck and Luu are 8-2 from the No. 2 doubles spot in dual matches this spring, and freshman Alex Sidney leads the team with 10 singles victories from the Nos. 4 and 5 spots. Nguyen and classmate Danny Riggs have won four of their last five respective matches in singles.
Harvard (16-1) brings a 12-match winning streak into its Ivy opener, including a 4-2 victory over now-No. 17 San Diego on March 16. Pearlman is 5-7 from the No. 1 spot, but Harvard has a winning percentage of at least .667 in any other singles position — including a combined record of 35-5 in the bottom half. Shaun Chaudhuri is 15-0 in singles matches, and Christo Schultz is 10-1. The No. 1 doubles team of Alistair Felton and Casey MacMaster is ranked 44th in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Dartmouth (14-1) is equally hot, with a winning streak of seven matches dating back to its lone loss in dual play — a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Harvard in the ECAC Indoor Championships semifinals on Feb. 18. The next day, the Big Green defeated the Big Red, 4-2, in the third-place match. Sophomore Venkat Iyer (No. 1) and Riggs (No. 3) had singles victories for Cornell. The Big Red also participated in the Dartmouth Invitational in the fall, going 2-2 in singles matches and 3-1 in doubles matches which pitted the Ivy schools against each other.
The Big Green is now ranked 60th by the ITA, most recently defeating Boston College, 5-2, on Sunday. The No. 1 doubles team of Michael Laser and Alex de Chatellus is ranked 76th in the country. Laser is also 11-3 in singles matches, filling out the top two spots in the order with Xander Centenari (5-6). Cameron Ghorbani (9-2) is most frequently used at the No. 3 spot, and Chris Ho (11-2) is on a seven-match winning streak from the bottom half of the lineup. Dartmouth holds a 41-20-2 advantage in the all-time series against Cornell, though the Big Red has won the last four meetings. Cornell has also won its last six home matches against Dartmouth, with the Big Green’s last victory in Ithaca coming on May 3, 1997.