Photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Ivy League men's tennis posted a very impressive month of March with four teams putting up perfect records to extend winning streaks into April, the final month of the regular season.
Harvard and Columbia are the League's hottest teams as they enter April on double-digit winning streaks, with Brown, Dartmouth and Princeton each entering the month on winning streaks of their own.
Ranked 20th in the latest Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Men's Team Rankings, Harvard went 5-0 in March to move its winning streak to 12 matches. The Crimson's March highlight was winning the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic in California that included victories over UC Irvine, San Diego State and then-No. 16 San Diego. Harvard then had home wins over Boston College and Binghamton to close out the month. The Crimson's winning ways moved into April already with a April 1 victory over St. John's that wrapped-up its non-conference schedule. Much of Harvard's success has come on the singles play of freshman Shaun Chaudhuri (15-0 playing mostly at the No. 5 and 6 positions) and sophomore Christo Schultz (10-1 playing mostly at the No. 3 and 4 positions).
Columbia also had an impressive March with wins in all seven of its matches to increase its win streak to 10 matches. The Lions' last loss came on Feb. 18 against St. John's in the ECAC Division I Indoor Team Championship. Led by freshman Winston Lin and his 15-1 dual match record at No. 1 and 2 singles, Columbia currently sits at No. 54 in the Campbell/ITA Rankings.
Brown enters April ranked 54th in the nation and on a six-match winning streak after a 5-0 record in March. Junior Mike Hill has four-straight singles victories at No. 4 singles and Sam Fife has won three-straight at No. 6 songles to key the Bears' streak.
Dartmouth, ranked 67th, enjoyed an equally-successful March. Six wins in March entedned the Big Green's winning streak to seven matches as it closed out its non-League slate. Dartmouth's singles lineup has been paced by freshman Chris Kipouras (12-1 primarily at No. 4) and seniors Chris Ho (11-2 primarly at No. 6) and Michael Laser (11-3 primarily at No. 1 and 2).
Princeton brings a winning streak of its own into April, having proved victorious in its last three matches. The Tigers have been led by 2010-11 Ivy League Player of the Year Matija Pecotic, who has a 13-2 mark at No. 1 singles, and is currently ranked 65th in the nation in singles. Princeton juniors Matt Siow and Matt Spindler are also ranked in the most recent Campbell/ITA Rankings at No. 40 in doubles.
Yale posted seven wins in 10 March matches, while Cornell captured three road victories during the month. Both look for more successful Aprils as the schedule turns to a full slate of matches against Ancient Eight foes.
All eight teams are vying for the League's regular-season title and to secure the automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship. The 64-team bracket will be announced on May 1 at 5 p.m. and the singles and doubles draws for the individual championships will be released on May 2 at 6 p.m.