Men’s tennis team falls to Harvard

by Dan Miller

Minnesota’s men’s tennis team lost a tight dual match Monday, falling 4-3 to No. 21 Harvard at the Baseline Tennis Center.

The 31st-ranked Gophers lost the doubles point and won the opening set of each singles match, only to see the Crimson rally to split the singles matches.

“We have to win some of these close matches,” Gophers’ coach David Geatz said. “(Monday), we started four freshmen against five Harvard seniors and I would take the guys with experience in that situation.”

Harvard opened the dual winning two of three doubles matches. Andres Osorio and Chris Wettengel gained the lone doubles win for Minnesota (3-3), winning 8-7 (4) over Chris Chiou and Jack Li. The No. 1 doubles match between Minnesota’s Clay Estes/Avery Ticer and Harvard’s Jonathan Chu/David Lingman went to 8-8 with Harvard winning the tiebreaker, 7-4.

In singles play, Minnesota jumped out to early leads in all of its matches but could only pull out wins in three bouts.

At No. 1, Aleksey Zharinov upended 38th-ranked Lingman in the lone straight-sets match, 7-6 (3), 6-1. The Crimson went up 3-1 with wins at No. 2 and 4 and grabbed the dual-clinching win at No. 6 with George Turner’s 0-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over Dusan Tabak.

At No. 3, Ticer was victorious in a marathon 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-5 (4) match over Mark Riddell.

The match drew praise from Geatz, who was pleased overall with the entire team.

“Ticer had one of the best matches I have seen him play,” he said. “We have a bunch of good guys that work hard and compete in every match. It is fun to coach guys like that.”

The Gophers next head to Eugene, Ore., to face Georgia Tech and host Oregon on March 6-7.