When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
The men’s tennis team, reeling after two straight defeats in Ivy League play, needed a vintage performance from someone to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the year. Once again, the man to step up was senior Mike Halperin, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year. Halperin won a pair of singles and doubles matches over the weekend, as the Red finally claimed its first Ivy League scalp, defeating Dartmouth.
Victory away at Dartmouth leaves the Red at 12-4 (1-2 Ivy) on the year, and keeps its Ivy League title hopes alive. Yet, it could have been a much different story after a 5-2 defeat to Harvard on Friday afternoon. The loss in Cambridge, Mass., was the fourth in five matchups for the Red after an unbeaten start to the season.
On Saturday, the Red faced the Green in Hanover, N.H., knowing that it needed a win to keep alive any realistic hopes of winning the Ivy League title.
The team was clearly determined to put behind its recent slump, and easily disposed of Dartmouth 5-2.
Halperin provided much of the inspiration, winning a tough three-setter against Dartmouth’s No.1 player, and then combining with junior Stefan Paulovic to win the No. 1 doubles match. Halperin also received help from Zach Gallin and Mike Mestel, who won their singles matches and then teamed up successfully in the No. 3 doubles.
Senior tri-captain Greg Artzt couldn’t say enough about the importance of
this win for the team.
“It was extremely big,” he admitted. “We were going through a slump and
people were starting to lose confidence”.
Although the men haven’t played a home fixture since March 4, Artzt
believes that the fatigue from road trips isn’t really to blame for the
team’s recent defeats.
“I think it’s mostly just that the competition’s getting tough,” he said.
At 1-2, the Ivy League title may appear to be slipping away, but Artzt
still believes that his team has a chance.
“There’s a good possibility that the winner of the Ivy League title will
be 5-2,” he said. “There’s certainly no team we can’t beat.”
If the men are to keep alive their Ivy League hopes, they’ll first have
to take care of their opponents next weekend, Brown and Yale. The Red hosts
Brown on April 13, and then is home against Yale the following day.
Archived article by Soo Kim