Wow, it’s been quite month here on campus. I’m sure all of those reading this have been aware of the events. Firstly, the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon and then the hunt to find the same perpetrators who shot an MIT police officer. These events tug at my heart, and well as the rest of Boston.
Events like this really put things in perspective and has helped our tennis team appreciate the opportunity to play the game much more. Not everyone has the opportunity to play a sport they are really passionate about and we are very fortunate to be where we are, doing what we love.
Maybe it was this new found perspective that fueled our motivation as we took the ivy league season by storm this year. It is always special to play any match, but the Ivy League matches are always a bit more competitive and exciting. We started off the season by hosting the Columbia lions and Cornell Bears, and got through both matches 4-3 and 6-1 respectively.
The following weekend we made the tough road trip to Princeton and Penn. Our first match was against Princeton, and they came out enthusiastic, with a large fan contingent. It is matches like this that make you realize how much you love playing the game. I’m not sure how to describe it, but there is something about a hundred rowdy fans hollering at you that makes you appreciate what it means to be out of the court, representing Harvard. These atmospheres are really special as it’s truly amazing to see how many people care enough to come out to something you are very passionate about. Our team was unfazed throughout the match and were able grab a competitive 5-2 win. Next up for us was a match-up with the Quakers, and we were able to escape away with a 4-3 win to end a very long road trip.
We were scheduled to play Brown on the following Friday, but because of the tragic events that ensued in Boston throughout the week, the match was postponed to the following week. Being on campus during the Boston bombings and police chase are something that I will never forget. It wasn’t the fact that I felt I was in danger, but rather, I have never seen the Harvard Community closer together through these troubling times. Everyone was there for each other, and made you feel that nothing could hurt you.
While the events were deeply saddening, we had to make sure we were ready for our next match. Next up for us was our annual Harvard-Yale match. A lot of alumni made it out to this match, and this match proved to be another highly contested battle. Once again, we were able to pull out a 5-2 win. Our next match was slated for the following Thursday, against Brown. It was our senior day and we honored our one senior, Andy Nguyen, before the match started. From the start of the doubles matches, it was clear that Brown came with their A game and really took it to us. We were able to fight back in the singles, but we weren’t able to pull away with a win as we lost 4-3 for our first ivy league loss of the season.
This meant that we had one more ivy league match against Dartmouth, with the ivy title on the line. We headed up to Hanover on a perfect day, with a goal in our minds. Starting in the doubles, all three teams were in top form as they all pulled out their matches. Heading into the singles we kept the momentum rolling and were able to take five of the six singles matches to take a 6-1 win and clinch the ivy league title outright. It was a great way to end the ivy season and a fine way to send off our only senior.
After the ivy league season we had a couple of weeks to focus on school and attend other events. The most notable event I attended was a talk with Andre Agassi(former No. 1 tennis player in the world). He talked about his experiences with the game and life after he retired. He talked about having a passion and make sure you give yourself every opportunity to succeed. Being a student athlete it was great to hear him talk about his experiences and be close to someone who accomplished so much in the sport. Next up for us is the NCAA tournament this week! Stay tuned for updates!