The Crimson finally broke the Big Green jinx. None of the members of the Harvard women's tennis team, not even its coach, had ever beaten Dartmouth. That is, until yesterday, when they eked out a 6-3 victory in windy Hanover, N.H.
The rivals exchanged hard-fought singles victories until a critical fifth-singles match, which pitted Harvard senior Meg Meyer against Dartmouth's Jan Gordon.
After losing the first set 7-5 and sweeping the second 6-0. Meyer found herself down 6-3 in the decisive 12-point tiebreaker, where the first player to reach seven with a 2-point or more lead would take the match. Meyer stayed cool, taking advantage of the wind and her opponents mistakes to save these three and three additional match points and finally take the tie-breaker 11-9.
This hard-fought victory evened the match score at 3-3, with only three doubles matches remaining to be played.
Darkness forced the teams to move in-doors, but it did not take the Harvard players long to adjust to the slow courts. They swept all three matches to emerge with a satisfying 6-3 win.
The day had not started off so well. First-singles player Tiina Bougas dropped a tough 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 decision to Dartmouth's Wendy Wasson. "It was frustrating to say the least," coach Pete Felske said yesterday. "The two had met before, and they are not exactly fond of each other."
In the second match, freshman Maria Pe evened the score with an easy 6-0, 6-3 win over Pam Banholzer.
Harvard fell behind again when Dartmouth's Kate Rugan beat Erica Schuiman 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. "I was surprised to have lost two of the first three matches because Bougas and Schulman are better players than their opponents," Feiske said.
But the bottom of the line-up came through, particularly seniors Meyer and Martha Roberts. In the fourth match. team captain Roberts triumphed 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 over Alice Van Meter. The, after Debbie Kalish fell to Dartmouth's Robyn Fishman 6-2, 6-0, setting the stage for Mever's tough three-set match.
The first-doubles team of Roberts and Pe won 6-3, 6-3, and the third Harvard pair of Kalish and Meyer clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. The tandem of Bougas and Schulman completed the sweep with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision.