In a matchup of the Ivy League's last two league-undefeated teams, 19th-ranked Harvard bested 50th-ranked Princeton 5-2 Saturday afternoon at the Lenz Tennis Center.
“Harvard played exceptionally well in virtually every spot to day and they were deserving of the win," Princeton head coach Billy Pate said. "Not getting the doubles point really hurt us as it would have undoubtedly given us a huge lift. However, our guys battled and just couldn’t quite get their teeth into the match the way we would like. Harvard is very strong in the middle of their lineup and we knew we would have some challenging matchups there. But I’m proud of the fight we displayed and very pleased with the tremendous crowd we had today. It was a fantastic atmosphere for college tennis and win or lose this is the type of environment we want our guys playing in each match. Our focus now turns immediately to Dartmouth as we know that will be a tough match."
Harvard won the first two doubles matches to be decided and four of the first five singles matches to finish, taking a 5-1 lead. Jonathan Carcione had Princeton's point in that stretch, taking a 6-2, 6-1 win over Harvard's Casey MacMaster at sixth.
Matija Pecotic, Princeton's top singles player and ranked No. 8 in the nation by the ITA, ran his Ivy dual match winning streak to 19 atop the singles ladder, but Harvard's Denis Nguyen was the first player since April 17, 2011 to get a set from Pecotic in an Ivy dual match. Pecotic had won all seven Ivy matches in 2012 in straight sets and did so with the first three Ivy matches this year.
The Tigers will look to rebound Sunday at 2 p.m. against No. 70 Dartmouth.
(19) Harvard (15-4, 3-0) 5, (50) Princeton (14-5, 3-1) 2
1. (55) MacMaster/D. Nguyen (H) def. (46) McCourt/Pecotic (P), 9-7
2. Dan Davies/Spindler (P) def. (83) Hu/A. Nguyen (H), 8-3
3. Kelvin Lam/Steinroeder (H) def. Augie Bloom/Siow (P), 8-5
Order of finish: 3,1,2
1. (8) Matija Pecotic (P) def. Denis Nguyen (H), 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
2. Shaun Chaudhuri (H) def. Zack McCourt (P), 6-3, 6-4
3. Alex Steinroeder (H) def. Matt Spindler (P), 6-4, 6-1
4. Andy Nguyen (H) def. Matt Siow (P), 6-4, 6-4
5. Nicky Hu (H) def. Dan Richardson (P), 7-5, 7-5
6. Jonathan Carcione (P) def. Casey MacMaster (H), 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: 6,3,2,5,4,1