CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first home match in a month, the Harvard men's tennis team took down its second Big Ten team this season, knocking off Indiana, 4-3, Saturday at the Murr Center Tennis Courts. Harvard (7-4) collected the doubles point over Indiana (6-7) en route to the victory.
The guests started well in doubles and early on in the matches on the first and second courts, the Hoosiers claimed service breaks. While the Indiana break on the first court proved costly to the Crimson doubles effort, Harvard's No. 2 pair of Andy Nguyen and Nicky Hu fought back with a pair of breaks of their own to swing the momentum. It was Alex Steinroeder and Kelvin Lam on the third court that took control of their match from start to finish, polishing off Elliot Yee and Chris Essick, 8-4, for Harvard's first match win.
The top tandem of Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen couldn't overcome the early break, and dropped an 8-5 final to Isade Juneau and Sam Monette to level the doubles score at 1-1. Hu and Andy Nguyen showed why they are Harvard's winningest doubles team, as the pair upped its dual match record to 6-2 on the year with an 8-6 win, clinching the doubles point for the hosts.
Indiana came out firing again to start singles play and saw four of the six opening sets go to the Hoosiers. Andy Nguyen remained the model of consistency at fourth singles for Harvard, cleaning up a 6-4, 6-3 win over Dimitrije Tasic to push the match score to 2-0. Nguyen now stands at 7-1 this season in dual matches at No. 4.
The Hoosiers claimed two straight-set victories soon after, knotting the match score at 2-2. Monette posted a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Shaun Chaudhuri at No. 2 and Steinroeder suffered a 7-5, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Josh MacTaggart at third singles. Denis Nguyen came out on top after a gritty battle at first singles. The sophomore captured the first set, 6-4, but fell in the second, forcing a deciding third frame. Nguyen regained his focus and pulled out a 6-3 win in the final set to finish the 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory.
Two freshmen, Hu and No. 5 and Lam at No. 6, were left to decide the outcome of the match and Hu stepped up to seal it for the Crimson. After splitting the first two sets, Hu won the final game of the third at love, powering to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win, clinching the win for Harvard. Lam brought his match to a third-set tiebreaker, but the rookie fell, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), moments after Hu's victory.
The Crimson has a busy Sunday set up, as it will take on Louisville at 10 a.m., before facing local foe Boston University at 4 p.m.
Harvard 4, Indiana 3
1. Sam Monette/Isade Juneau (I) def. Casey MacMaster/Denis Nguyen (H), 8-5
2. Andy Nguyen/Nicky Hu (H) def. Josh MacTaggart/Daniel Bednarczyk (I), 8-6
3. Alex Steinroeder/Kelvin Lam (H) def. Elliot Yee/Chris Essick (I), 8-4
1. Denis Nguyen (H) def. Isade Juneau (I), 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
2. Sam Monette (I) def. Shaun Chaudhuri (H), 6-4, 6-3
3. Josh MacTaggart (I) def. Alex Steinroder (H), 7-5, 6-3
4. Andy Nguyen (H) def. Dimitrije Tasic (I), 6-4, 6-3
5. Nicky Hu (H) def. Daniel Bednarczyk (I), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
6. Elliot Yee (I) def. Kelvin Lam (H), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)