CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Facing off against the only Ivy team to claim a win against it last season, the No. 18 Harvard men's tennis team took down No. 40 Columbia, 4-3, to get off to a 1-0 start to its Ivy League schedule Saturday. The win is Harvard's eighth straight and 11th in its last 12 games.
Harvard's No. 2 doubles tandem got the Crimson off to a solid start, as Andy Nguyen and Nicku Hu took down Dragos Ignat and Bert Vancura, 8-4. The Lions answered back with a win at No. 3, but the Crimson claimed the doubles point thanks to a gutsy win by its top pair. The 65th-ranked tandem of Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen upset the 36th-ranked pair of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur, 8-5, to help Harvard to the doubles point.
Denis Nguyen made a statement to begin singles play, powering through his match against No. 52 Winston Lin, 6-1, 6-3, to give Harvard a 2-0 edge in the match. The Lions picked up their first point of the match thanks to a strong performance from its No. 6 player Bert Vancura, who bested Harvard's Kelvin Lam, 6-1, 7-6. The guests drew even when the next result came in, as Nathaniel Gery beat Nicky Hu in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to knot the match at 2-2.
The tie was short-lived as the Crimson's Alex Steinroeder put Harvard back in front with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Narayana on the third court. A hotly contested match on the second court went the way of the Lions, with Ignat posting a 7-5, 7-5 win over Harvard's No. 2 Shaun Chaudhuri. It all came down to senior co-captain Andy Nguyen at No. 4, and the veteran came through in the clutch once again. After dropping the first set, Nguyen battled back to take the next two from Schnur, sealing the match with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.
Harvard is back in action with another Ivy opponent Sunday, as it welcomes Cornell to Cambridge for an Ancient Eight showdown.
1) No. 65 MacMaster/D. Nguyen def. No. 36 Narayana/Schnur (C), 8-5
2) A. Nguyen/Hu def. Ignat/Vancura (C), 8-4
3) Lin/Rubin (C) def. Steinroeder/Lam, 8-4
1) Denis Nguyen def. No. 52 Winston Lin (C), 6-1, 6-3
2) Dragos Ignat (C) def. Shaun Chaudhuri, 7-5, 7-5
3) Alex Steinroeder def. Ashok Narayana (C), 6-2, 6-4
4) Andy Nguyen def. Max Schnur (C), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
5) Nathaniel Gery (C) def. Nicky Hu, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
6) Bert Vancura (C) def. Kelvin Lam, 6-1, 7-6