Bears drop critical home, away contests to Crimson

Men’s, women’s tennis teams struggle against Harvard at beginning of Ivy League schedules

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2018

The men’s tennis team opened its Ivy League schedule with a close loss to Harvard Friday. Coming off a victory over Yale, the women’s team hoped to take down the Crimson but were unable to hold them off in a 5-2 loss.

Coming off a spring break victory over the University of California, Davis, the men’s tennis team returned to the Pizzitola Sports Center Friday for its first Ivy League test of the season. Bruno (14-7, 0-2 Ivy) kept a close match against Harvard (19-3, 3-0) but ultimately fell to the Crimson 4-3 after the visitors were able to clinch the winning point in fifth singles.

“It was a pretty good showing considering last year’s results,” said Charles Tan ’19. “We had a really good chance, and it just kind of slipped away from us in the end.”

The momentum initially swung in Harvard’s favor as the Crimson downed the Bears in first and third doubles to snag the first point of the day. But Brown showed no signs of surrender during singles play and evened the score to 1-1 after Charles Tan ’19 notched a 6-2, 6-3 victory in the fourth singles slot.

Jack Haworth ’18 put up a fight in first singles and nearly pulled off a comeback with a 6-4 win in the second set to force a third before Harvard’s Kenny Tao sealed the final set to put the Crimson back on top. Peter Tarwid ’18 recorded a 6-4, 7-3 victory in third singles to tie the match for the second time, but Harvard came away with wins in second and fifth singles to bring up the final 4-3 score.

Fifty-three miles away, the women’s tennis team was also trying to hold off the Crimson as the Bears (9-10, 2-1) hoped to keep a pristine conference record after they opened Ivy play with a spring break victory over Yale. But Harvard (11-8, 3-0) showcased strength and depth in singles play, sweeping five of the six matches to nab the 5-2 victory.

“It was a pretty tough match,” said Devon Jack ’20. “Harvard has been pretty good the past two years, so we knew it was going to be a difficult match going in. … It just wasn’t our day.”

Bruno started off strong with doubles performances to take an early lead. Courtney Kowalsky ’21 teamed up with Maddie Stearns ’18 to defeat the Crimson 6-4 in the first spot while Juliana Simon ’20 and Katie Ta ’19 supported with a 6-2 win in third doubles to seal the point.

“We were really pumped (because) it had been a while since we won a doubles point that way,” Jack said. “All three teams fought hard and played really well. … We were trying to take that energy and adrenaline into our singles matches, but they stayed tough.”

Jack claimed the Bears’ lone win in singles with a 6-2, 6-1 win in the third slot, but three Bears forced their matches into extra sets. Alyza Benotto ’18, Stearns and Simon all pushed their opponents to a third set, but Harvard held on to win first, second and sixth singles matches en route to the 5-2 final score.

“Our team responded as well as we could have responded to a loss like that,” Jack said. “Losing to Harvard is tough because it’s Harvard and because we don’t have an Ivy League tournament or a conference tournament … so every match that we play throughout the month is extremely important because you don’t get a second chance. After that loss, we were devastated. But we responded really well to it.”

Both teams will be back in action next weekend against Penn. The women will return home to host the Quakers while the men will travel to Philadelphia for a chance to improve their records.

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