Facing its fifth straight ITA-nationally ranked opponent, the Princeton men's tennis team fell to Harvard 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Cornell in the ECAC Championship third-place match.
It was the second straight match in which Princeton fell 4-3, with the first coming to eventual ECAC runner-up Columbia Saturday afternoon.
"It was a great college tennis match, but for the second day in a row it was an exceptionally close match that didn't go our way," Princeton head coach Billy Pate said. "It's disappointing because we had a number of chances along with great momentum in singles. Harvard did a good job of turning the momentum and it took a clutch performance by Siow to send it to the deciding doubles point. We had leads at second and third doubles but we simply didn't finish them off. It's frustrating but we know we're very close to being a strong team. We'll learn from this and get back to work this week."
The match began with singles play, and Matija Pecotic and Matt Siow started it off with wins at first and sixth singles, respectively. Following a Harvard win, Zack McCourt put Princeton ahead 3-1 with a victory at second singles. Harvard pulled it back to 3-3 with wins at third and fifth singles.
That sent the match to doubles play for the decisive fourth point. Harvard put Princeton on the brink of defeat with a win from Andy Nguyen and Nicky Hu at first doubles before completing a win by getting a victory from Kelvin Lam and Sam MacMaster at second doubles.
The Tigers will have their home-opening matches next weekend with Fairleigh Dickinson coming to Jadwin Gym Saturday at 2 p.m. and Bucknell following at 10 a.m. Sunday.
(47) Harvard (6-4) 4, (64) Princeton (3-3) 3
1. Hu/A. Nguyen (H) def. (29) McCourt/Pecotic (P), 8-3
2. Lam/MacMaster (H) def. Dan Davies/Spindler (P), 8-6
3. Chaudhuri/Steinroeder (H) vs. Augie Bloom/Siow (P), 7-6, DNF
Order of finish: 1,2
1. (3) Matija Pecotic (P) def. Shaun Chaudhuri (H), 6-0, 6-2
2. Zack McCourt (P) def. Alex Steinroeder (H), 7-6(5), 6-4
3. Andy Nguyen (H) def. Matt Spindler (P), 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
4. Nicky Hu (H) def. Dan Richardson (P), 7-6(6), 6-0
5. Casey MacMaster (H) def. Jonathan Carcione (P), 7-6(2), 6-2
6. Matt Siow (P) def. Kelvin Lam (H), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 1,6,4,2,3,5