Peter Felske's women's tennis team proved that the fireworks weren't the only pyrotechnics in town Saturday, as they obliterated the competition at the Greater Boston Championships for the second consecutive year.
Taking all six singles crowns and two out of three doubles titles at Harvard's ITT and Palmer Dixon courts, the netwomen sent the B.U., B.C., Brandeis, MIT, Northeastern and Tufts teams home without much cheer.
The stellar play of the team's Yardlings, Maria Pe and Erica Schulman, provided the day's finest examples of how to dominate the game. Playing in the second flight tournament, Pe's metronomic consistency shut out any possible challenge from her opponents as she yielded only four games in three matches.
Shulman showed similar ruthlessness, breezing past players from Brandeis and Tufts before meeting B.U.'s Deidre O'Halloran in the finals in the third flight. She demolished the B.U. contender, 16-4 6-0, with a masterful strategy of pulling her opponent wide with short, angled ground strokes and then poking the return into the empty court.
Outside of the first round loss of first doubles pair Kristen Mertz and Abby Meiselman. Harvard's only scares came in the fourth and sixth slot singles tourneys.
Captain Martha Roberts overcame a bout of exhaustion to pull out a third set victory with her big serve and crisp net game at the fourth spot, and the tenacious, gritty play of Debbie Kalish turned the tide for a sixth flight final victory, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Same Ole Story
The victories of team stalwarts Tiina Bougas and Meg Meyer in the number one and five slots rounded out the Crimson's singles sweep.
Devastating B.U.'s nimble Bernadette Diaz with powerful forehand slugging, Bougas easily retained the title she captured last year in her freshman season. Utilizing a steady baseline game, Meyer also had no difficulty powering her way to the fifth spot laurels.
After the early three-set loss of Mertz and Meiselman to a tough Northeastern duo, it was only a matter of time for Harvard's two other doubles teams. The pair of Susan Morganstein and Lisa Schneider ploughed through the opposition to cop the number two slot doubles victory.
But the troops didn't reach the clubhouse until 8:30 Saturday night. After surviving a vicious barrage of B.C. lobs in a two-and-a-half-hour second round match the gutsy play of Liz Siegel and Andrea Gerlen routed the opposing Northeastern team, 6-2, 6-1, in the final doubles competition.
Last year, the women's tennis team finished fourth in the Ivy League tournament, behind Yale, Princeton and Brown.