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Men's Tennis Performs Well at Ivy Plus Tournament

Junior Logan Weber rips a backhand in previous action
The Harvard men’s tennis team continued its strong start at the Ivy Plus tournament at Princeton and Yale this weekend, winning 15 of 27 matches in their second tournament under new head coach Andrew Rueb ’95. That leaves the Crimson needing just two wins from six Sunday matches to leave Ivy Plus with a record above .500.

Harvard’s standout performer at Ivy Plus over the first two days was sophomore Robert Wrzesinski, who is looking to improve on an exciting freshman year during which he was a Second Team All-Ivy selection in doubles. The Vilnius, Lithuania native remained undefeated on the season by sweeping the first three rounds of the Lenz flight, all in straight sets. The wins send him to the finals and a matchup with LSU on Sunday, yet to be played at press time.

Wrzesinski also paired with senior Christopher Morrow in the Silver Gold flight, with the Crimson duo winning both of their opening day matches by scorelines of 8-6 over Brown and 8-2 over Washington. It was an impressive first day for a pair that did not play together last season, providing a good sign of things to come. Wrzesinski and Morrow have advanced to the finals of the Silver Gold flight, where they will take on Princeton on Sunday morning.

Coming off of a 3-0 doubles debut at last weekend’s Chowder Fest tournament, freshman Brian Shi and junior Logan Weber split their two Friday matches, defeating Alabama, 8-5, before falling to Princeton by the same score.

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The victory over Alabama was particularly noteworthy as the Crimson Tide team included standout senior Mazen Osama, who came into the season ranked No. 3 in the ITA Singles Rankings. Shi and Weber will now look to end the weekend on a high note on Sunday morning, when they face LSU.

With captain Andy Zhou sitting the tournament out, Shi, who came into Harvard as a five-star recruit, was the lone Crimson man at the tournament’s main Tiger Gold flight. Shi fell to Alex Brown of Illinois, who was No. 50 in the preseason ITA Singles Rankings, in straight sets, sending him to the loser’s bracket of the Tiger event.

Shi then went on to split his Saturday matches, leaving him at 1-2 heading into his final match Sunday against Tulsa. The Jericho, N.Y. native continues to face tough competition in his introduction to college tennis, as he went 1-1 against two other ranked players — Indiana’s Antonio Cembellin (No. 66) and Texas Tech’s Tommy Mylnikov (No. 69) — at last week’s Chowder Fest tournament.

Elsewhere, freshman Harris Walker continued to build off of a strong start to his college tennis career. Walker entered the Cordish flight off the heels of a 2-1 singles performance at the Chowder Fest tournament last weekend. He won two of three Cordish matches across Friday and Saturday and will face Illinois on Sunday morning with the hope of finishing 5-2 in his first two college tournaments.

Harvard will conclude Ivy Plus play on Sunday and then gear up for ITA Regionals, which take place in Princeton, N.J. from Oct. 11 through Oct. 16. It will try to build off of a promising start, especially considering the fact that 2018 is its first year without ex-head coach Dave Fish, who spent 42 years with the team, racking up 21 Ivy League championships.

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