Harvard Defends TOC New England Championship
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | October 23, 2017
CAMBRIDGE, MA- Harvard University’s Tennis On Campus (TOC) team has once again established itself as the best club tennis program in New England. From October 20-22, Harvard successfully defended its home turf as well as its New England Championship crown competing against a record-setting 31 New England clubs.
Harvard will be making what has become its annual trip to TOC Nationals in April, as the team has advanced every year since 2011. Joining them this year will be Northeastern (2nd place), Dartmouth College (3rd place), Yale University (4th place) and Boston University (5th place).
“Winning last year showed us what it was all about, so coming back in we knew what we had to do and took care of business,” said Harvard senior co-captain, Tristan Threatt.
Harvard had no issues getting out of its flight and reaching the Gold Bracket, as the team defeated UMass Lowell and Central Connecticut State University. ADVERTISEMENT The Crimson defeated Brown in the quarterfinals and Dartmouth in the semis to set up a match with perennial TOC powers, Northeastern.
Despite a raucous crowd behind Northeastern willing them on with every point, Harvard came away victorious thanks to a 6-3 closeout by the mixed pairing of Chris Kralik and Ellen Jang-Milsten. Harvard took the match, 25-15.
“You can always count on Northeastern to bring out a pretty big squad. Over the past few years I think we’ve developed a pretty good relationship with them, so it’s always fun to get out and play with each other,” Threatt said. “That’s the beauty of TOC and club tennis in general. It gives everybody the opportunity to mix tennis and social without it being too serious and still have fun.”
Harvard placed 13th at Nationals last year and hopes to improve on that result this time around.
In the third-place match, Dartmouth trailed 14-11 in games against Yale with men’s singles and mixed doubles to play. Kai Sane picked up a 6-3 win and the duo of Jeff Kim and Nicole Tiao won their match 6-5 in a tiebreak to propel Dartmouth to a 23-22 victory.
BU defeated Tufts in the fifth-place match, 24-22, after Tufts upset Dartmouth in that same match last year, to earn the final spot at Nationals from the New England Championships.
The University of Rhode Island defeated the University of Maine, 29-15, to capture the Silver Bracket title. MIT held off Wesleyan University 23-22 in the Bronze final, and Providence College took down the University of New England in the Copper championship, 28-17.
“This was the best year of our New England Championships yet,” said Sarah Rice, USTA New England Manager, Community Development and event organizer. “You can tell the excitement around TOC is building with the record turnout we had this year including adding three brand new clubs to the slate.”
New England will announce its sixth and final bid to Nationals in early 2018 by way of the Club of the Year award. The Club of the Year is voted on by a committee and is awarded to the TOC team that has shown success on the court while demonstrating great sportsmanship, dedication and volunteer efforts in the community. Last year’s winner was the University of Rhode Island.
Sportsmanship awards were also voted on by opposing teams and were given out to one captain and one team. This year's Team Sportsmanship Award winner was the University of Vermont, and Derick Yang of Tufts took home the Captain's Sportsmanship Award.
Photos from this year’s New England Championships can be found here.