Boston University didn't turn out to be the strenuous warm-up that the Harvard women's tennis team had hoped for coming into this weekend's matchups against tough California teams, but the Crimson wasn't complaining.
Behind the strength of a doubles sweep, Harvard (4-1 overall, 0-0 Ivy) coasted to an easy 8-1 win over the Terriers (4-6 overall) yesterday at the Palmer-Dixon Courts.
As was the case last season, the Crimson's first-doubles tandem of Amy deLone and Jamie Henikoff were Harvard's offensive catalysts, blanking B.U.'s Stacy Vogel and Monica Rey, 6-0, 6-0, to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead.
For deLone and Henikoff--the nation's 12th-ranked doubles team according to the latest ITCA/Volvo polls--the match was downright dull.
"They didn't play as well as I thought they would," deLone said. "They didn't give us too many rallies and didn't get to group too many ground strokes."
Crimson Coach Gordon Graham--who tallied his first spring win at Harvard against the Terriers--said he was pleased to get the victory under his belt, but bemoaned the Crimson's lack of outdoor practice coming into next week's games against Pacific, Cal/Berkeley, Houston and Pomona.
"It's not hot enough, it's not windy enough to be like California," Graham said. "But it's really important to get a match in--we've been playing each other, and it was good to play someone else for a change."
Harvard's other double teams looked strong even without the help of the great outdoors.
Erika Elmuts and Melissa McNabb surrendered just four games in a straight-set disposal of Terriers Shea McGuire and Jen Manning at second doubles, as did Sam Ettus and Jen Minkus in their win over B.U.'s Melissa Detwiler and Dianne Ilson at third doubles.
Singles proved just as easy. DeLone breezed past Stacy Vogel--who managed to win only one game off her cross-town foe--at number-one, and McNabb bumped McGuire in straight sets at number-three to make it 5-0 and clinch the win for Harvard.
Henikoff, Ettus and Rachel Pollock won their singles matches to provide the Crimson's final margin of victory, 8-1.
For Graham, the California trip will be a homecoming of sorts. He coached Pacific--the first team on Harvard's California schedule--for 12 seasons before migrating to Cambridge, and will face many of the players he recruited.
Although the Crimson bumped off Graham's Pacific squad last year, 6-3, he said that Harvard will face a more talented team this time around.
at Palmer-Dixon Courts
1. Amy deLone (HARVARD) d. Stacy Vogel (Boston University), 6-1, 6-0; 2. Jamie Henikoff d. Monica Rey (B), 6-3, 6-3; 3. Melissa McNabb (H) d. Shea McGuire (B), 6-0, 7-5; 4. Sam Ettus (H) d. Jennifer Manning (B), 5-7, 6-4, 7-6; 5. Linda Kim (B) d. Jen Minkus (H), 7-6, 6-3; 6. Rachel Pollack (H) d. Diane Ilson (B), 6-3, 6-3.
1. deLone/Jamie Henikoff (H) d. Vogel/Monica Rey (B), 6-0, 6-0; 2. Erika Elmuts/McNabb (H) d. Jennifer Manning/McGuire (B), 6-2, 6-2; 3. Sam Ettus/Jen Minkus (H) d. Melissa Detwiler/Diane Ilson (B), 6-1, 6-3.