The Harvard women's tennis team suffered a setback this weekend, dropping two matches at the ITCA Northeast Team Championships at Princeton. This indoor tourney knocked the Crimson down to the fourth spot in the East.
The Crimson suffered its first defeat on Saturday to the tournament winners, William and Mary. The final count was 6-0.
The most devastating loss came when freshman hopeful Erica deLone fell to Julie Shiflet, 6-2, 2-6, 4-6. These two have played each other many times dating back to 1983. DeLone and Shiflet, both ranked among the top 200 on the Pro Tour, last met this summer in San Diego at the Mazda Tennis Classic. DeLone won that one, 7-5, 3-6, 6-0.
In the second singles match, sophomore Samantha Ettus bowed to 18th-ranked Karen Gallego, 4-6, 2-6. Illness sidelined Ettus for the rest of the tournament.
Before this whitewashing, William and Mary was ranked 19th in the nation, while Harvard held the 24th ranking.
On Sunday, the Crimson's misfortunes began to snowball as it fell to Yale, 5-2.
Erika Delone, however, provided one of the few bright spots of the weekend, recapturing her winning ways. She disposed of Laura Flynn, 6-4, 6-3. DeLone later teamed with Erika Elmuts to defeat Cindi Kuragami and Flynn, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
In a couple of tough, skin-of-the-teeth losses, junior Melinda Wang came up short against Kari Weiner, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6 and freshman Kindra Harris fell to Adrienne Amato, 6-7 (2-7), 5-7.
Harvard was forced to play this weekend without two of its top players, Melissa McNab and Cisca Mok. The team will now look to the spring to get some revenge. The Crimson will get another shot at William and Mary when the two meet at Harvard on April 5. Yale will also be in town in April.
DeLone summed up the championship tournament by saying, "This gives us a perspective on where we are and what we need to do. It may have hurt some of our confidence, but it gives us more goals for the future."
The Crimson's next team action won't be until March 15th when it lock horns with the Boston College Eagles.
"It may have hurt some of our confidence, but it gives us more goals for the furture." -Harvard's Erika deLone.