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|Tennis co-captain Kunj Majmudar '99 was seeded second at the NCAA doubles tournament with his partner, James Blake '01.Tim Morse|
The baseball team (28-20 overall, 16-4 Ivy League) won its third consecutive Ivy championship over Princeton in the most dramatic fashion possible. The teams split the first two games of the three-game playoff, Harvard winning 8-7, then losing to the Tigers, 7-6. In the rubber game, Princeton took a 4-2 lead into the ninth. But Harvard rallied for three runs and a 5-4 win, with freshman designated hitter Faiz Shakir delivering the big hit, a bases-loaded single to center that drove in two.
Harvard also swept all three of the league's top awards--something no college had ever done. Centerfielder Andrew Huling '99 was named Ivy League Player of the Year, pitcher John Birtwell '01 was the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, and the freshman pitcher Ben Crockett became Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year.
Winning the league championship qualified Harvard for the NCAA tournament for a third consecutive year. But in the first round of regional playoffs, at the University of Southern California, Harvard lost to Pepperdine (4-0) and to Virginia Commonwealth (3-2) to complete the season.
The softball team (20-18 overall, 10-2 Ivy) closed out its campaign with four wins, taking doubleheaders from Vermont and Dartmouth. The Crimson finished second to Cornell in the Ivy standings.
Pitcher Chelsea Thoke '01 was named Ivy League Player of the Year. She led the league with seven victories in Ivy contests--and with 69 strikeouts. Terri Teller '99, Deborah Abeles '00, Mairead McKendry '01, and Sarah Koppell '02 joined Thoke on the all-Ivy First Team.
The Crimson (21-5 overall, 7-0 Ivy), the nation's nineteenth-ranked team, cruised to another Ivy championship--its fifth straight league title and tenth crown in 11 years. At the NCAA team tournament, Harvard beat Notre Dame (4-2) in the first round before falling (4-1) to tenth-ranked Baylor.
Sophomore James Blake, the nation's top-ranked singles player for most of the year, ended the season with a 41-4 record. Seeded first at the NCAA Individual Championships, Blake reached the final, where he lost a close three-set match to the second seed, Florida's Jeff Morrison, 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 6-4. Had Blake won, he would have become the first Ivy League player to win the national singles title since Yale's Lucien Williams in 1922, and the second African American to do so, the first being Blake's idol, Arthur Ashe, who won in 1965 while at UCLA. Harvard's last national singles champion was G. Colket Caner '17, who won in 1916.
Blake and his doubles partner, Kunj Majmudar '99, were the country's third-ranked doubles team, and received the second seed at the NCAA Doubles Championship, where Pepperdine's Kelly Guillett and John Hui upset them in the round of 16, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Majmudar and Blake ran up a 24-9 record in doubles for the year; both earned all-America honors. Blake was also named Ivy League Player of the Year.
The netwomen (11-12 overall, 7-0 Ivy) retained their Ivy League crown with another undefeated season, but in the NCAA tournament's first round, they succumbed to William and Mary (7-2).
Junior Vedica Jain was named to the all-Ivy First Team in singles, and, with partner Andrea Magyera '02, also made the all-Ivy First Team in doubles.
The varsity lightweight crew surprised the favored Princeton Tigers by capturing the national championship in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta at Camden, New Jersey. Harvard finished a comfortable two seconds ahead of Rutgers, while the Tigers--the Eastern Sprints champions who had beaten Harvard twice earlier in the season--faded to sixth place, eight seconds behind Harvard in the final. The Crimson lightweights are an odd '90s dynasty: they have won the national title in every odd-numbered year since 1991.
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