This spring break, the Harvard Men’s Tennis Team left the chilly Boston weather and heading to the sunny beaches of San Diego to compete in the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic. This was an 8-team tournament that spanned three days. The tournament didn’t start until the Thursday of spring break, so we had five days to adjust to the outdoor conditions. At Harvard, we had been playing, predominately indoors since October, so it was nice to play outdoors again.
After the weekend of practice, we took Monday off and had the unique opportunity to visit the Coronado Naval Base. This was an interesting experience, as we were given a tour of the facility and an overview of the different equipment they use. They also showed us different carriers and helicopters they had. At the end of the trip, we had the opportunity to take part in a flight simulation. The flight simulation mimicked flying a real helicopter. While I ruled out any hope of being a pilot when I crashed my plane in the first five seconds, this was a great experience.
After Monday, for the next three days, we prepared and trained for the tournament. In our first match of the tournament, we played UC Irvine. After a very suspenseful doubles point that went our way, we headed into the singles matches. While the team support is always great, I was really happy I had some family support during my singles match. My parents and sister were able to make it down from the Bay Area to watch us play! It was great to have my family and teammates there cheering me on. Our team secured five of the six singles sets to win the match 6-1.
Due to bad weather, the coaches changed the schedule for the end of the tournament. The semifinals and finals of the tournament were moved to the same day, and the format was altered. With four courts, we played the singles sets first and determined that the doubles would only be played if the match had not been decided. In the semifinals, we played San Diego State. We were able to pull out wins at the no. 2, 4, and 6 positions to tie the match at 3-3. Since the match was tied after the singles, we played the doubles point. After some intense and very close doubles matches, we were able to pull away for a 4-3 win.
In the championship match, we played the #16 nationally-ranked home team, University of San Diego. Playing at night underneath the lights, the singles matches went first. I played at the no 4 position, and the crowd was right on the edge of my court. My match consisted of many long rallies, and after an hour and a half, I was able to close out a straight set win. Fellow teammates, Christo Schultz, Henry Steer, and Alex Steinroeder also pulled out singles victories to help the Crimson earn a 4-2 victory and clinch the championship!
While it was hard to leave the wonderful weather and sunny beaches, it was great to return to college life in Cambridge. Over the past few weeks, there have been many interesting events at Harvard. One of the events I attended was Holi. Holi is a Hindu religious holiday and is also known as the Festival of Colors. People celebrate by throwing scented colored powder at each other to mark the end of the winter season and the start of the spring season. On campus, the Harvard South Asian Association hosted a lunch where we played traditional Indian games and enjoyed a wide array of Indian food. After the lunch we headed to the Winthrop House courtyard, where we were supplied with colored powder, and we proceeded to engage in a very chaotic battle, filled with color, shouting, and many great new memories.
After coming back from spring break, the weeks flew by even faster than normal. My schedule has been pretty busy with school work and tennis, and now with final exams. I honestly can’t believe this year is almost over. Thanks for reading this blog!