CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Jacob Sullivan won the lone victory for the Cougars as BYU fell to Harvard 6-1 at the Murr Center Tennis Courts on Friday afternoon.
"I thought we did everything right in our preparation, Harvard just played better than us today," BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. "On the bright side, we were getting better as the matches progressed. I anticipate that we'll be more acclimated tomorrow against Cornell and we'll perform better."
BYU (2-2) dropped the doubles point for the first time this season as Harvard (3-1) recorded decisive wins at first and second doubles. Sullivan and John Pearce fell 6-2 to the Crimson’s Brian Yeung and Kenny Tao before Jeremy Bourgeois and Matthew Pearce lost their match to Sebastian Beltrame and Jean Thirouin, 6-3.
The Cougars struggled to bounce back in singles as Harvard picked up five consecutive straight-set victories. Bourgeois came up short at No. 1 singles after a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Beltrame. Tao defeated Keaton Cullimore 6-2, 6-1 before Thirouin clinched the win for the Crimson over John Pearce, 6-1, 6-3, at fourth singles.
Sullivan put up a fight to send his match into three sets, defeating Andy Zhou, 3-6, 6-3, (10-4), in the No. 5 singles slot.
BYU takes on its second Ivy League opponent, Cornell, on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. EST at the Murr Center Tennis Courts.
Harvard 6 BYU 1
- Yeung/Tao (Harvard) def. Sullivan/J. Pearce (BYU) 6-2
- Beltrame/Thirouin (Harvard) def. Bourgeois/M. Pearce (BYU) 6-3
- Morrow/Weber (Harvard) def. Tullis/Cullimore (BYU) 4-3 (DNF)
Order of finish: (1,2)
- Beltrame (Harvard) def. Bourgeois (BYU) 6-4, 6-4
- Tao (Harvard) def. Cullimore (BYU) 6-2, 6-1
- Yeung (Harvard) def. M. Pearce (BYU) 6-3, 6-3
- Thirouin (Harvard) def. J. Pearce (BYU) 6-1, 6-3
- Sullivan (BYU) def. Zhou (Harvard) 3-6, 6-3, (10-4)
- Solomon (Harvard) def. Tullis (BYU) 6-2, 6-4
Order of finish (1,2,4,6,3,5)
PROVO, Utah – After dropping a close 4-3 match to No. 18 Stanford, BYU men’s tennis travels to the East Coast to take on Ivy League teams Harvard and Cornell.
The Cougars (2-1, 0-0 WCC) face off against Harvard on Friday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. EST and Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. EST. Both matches will be held at the Murr Center Tennis Courts in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Several BYU players had standout performances at Stanford last weekend, including an upset over No. 15 Yale Goldberg and Sameer Kumar at No. 1 doubles by John Pearce and Jacob Sullivan. Last week, BYU was selected to finish fourth in the West Coast Conference while senior Keaton Cullimore was named to the All-WCC preseason team.
Harvard (2-1) started the dual season at home with the Crimson Kick Off last weekend. The Crimson defeated Furman 6-1 and New Jersey Institute of Technology 6-1, but fell to Old Dominion 4-0. BYU holds a 2-0 all-time record over Harvard. The Cougars topped the No. 61 Crimson 4-3 in January 2010.
Cornell (2-0) swept Binghamton 7-0 after a 6-1 victory over Buffalo last weekend. The Big Red feature one nationally-ranked player, No. 62 Chris Vrabel. This is the first meeting between the Cougars and Big Red.
With a victory over either Harvard or Cornell, BYU head coach Brad Pearce will earn the 200th win of his career.