Freshman Eva Wang and the doubles team of sophomores Courtney Bergman and Susanna Lingman plowed through the prequalifying rounds of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships to highlight a full weekend of action for the Harvard women’s tennis team.
Six of the Crimson’s elite players competed at All-Americans in California while seven others competed in Providence, R.I., at the Brown Invitational.
By winning the prequalifying rounds, Wang and the doubles team of Bergman and Lingman advance to the qualifying rounds which begin tomorrow.
Wang joins Bergman, Lingman and sophomore Alexis Martire in the singles qualifying rounds. The latter three all bypassed the prequalifying round by virtue of their individual rankings from a year ago. If they can win three matches there they will advance to the main draw.
In her first round of singles action, Wang—the fifth seed—defeated Erin Hoe of Washington, 6-1, 6-1.
“I played well in the first set,” Wang said. “I got a little tight since it was my first match, but I pulled through. It was a good warm-up match.”
In her next round, Wang defeated Cindy Sureephong of Arizona State in a game greatly affected by heavy winds, 6-0, 7-5.
“The ball just wavered out there. I would give it a solid hit, and it would get taken in another direction,” Wang said. “I adapted to the conditions before [Sureephong] did, so I was able to take a big lead. She adapted well in the second set, so it was a tougher match.”
Wang advanced to the qualifying draw with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over UCLA’s Sarah Gregg.
Harvard freshman Melissa Andersen was the only other Crimson competitor in prequalifying singles. She lost to Pepperdine’s Veronica Koksava in her lone match, 7-5, 6-4.
In doubles, the duo of Bergman and Lingman won three matches to advance to the qualifying round.
The doubles team of Andersen and Wang just missed advancing past the prequalifying rounds. The pair won its first two matches, but came up short in its third, losing 8-1 to the third-seeded pair from Duke.
The only doubles team that didn’t advance past the first round was Harvard’s highest ranked team of Martire and junior Sanja Bajin. The second-seeded pair lost 8-4 to a team from UC-Irvine. Bajin, who opted out of singles competition, is nearly recovered from her recent string of injuries.
At the Brown Invitational, the sophomore tandem of Ashley Hyotte and Lola Ajilore upset the No.1-seeded duo from Boston College, Alison Ashley and Emily Yeomans.
Hyotte-Ajilore battled back after being down double match point to force a tiebreak, then took control of the game, winning the next six points. They won, 7-3.
In the final round, however, the duo could not overcome the powerful Alabama team of Ashley Bentley and Nathalie Koppelle, losing 8-3.
“We got off to a slow start,” Hyotte said. “They were all over the net, and we just couldn’t catch up.”
Sophomore Christina Chen topped her first-round opponent, Mariana Lee from Brown, riding several unforced errors by Lee en route to a tough 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7) victory. Chen lost a third-set tiebreaker in a Flight ‘D’ consolation game to Brown’s Hana Bartel, 6-1. 2-6, 1-0 (7-10).
Freshman Lyly Cao Minh defeated her first-round opponent, Celene Change from Princeton, but lost in the next round, 6-3, 6-1.
Liz Gass teamed with Princeton’s Nancy Zeronda and defeated a BU duo in Doubles Flight ‘D’.
Freshmen Moira Finicane and Alli Pilliner also took an early exit from the tournament. Finicane lost to Wei Ming Wong of Syracuse 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7).
Pillinger withdrew from singles and doubles competition after straining a stomach muscle in her opening match.
In doubles, Finicane and Chen lost a close match to Princeton’s team of Kristen Carlin and Celene Chang.
“We were hoping to pick it up from last week,” Hyotte said. “We wanted to have more players in the finals in each respective flight. We just didn’t play as well as we hoped.”
—Contributing writer John R. Hein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.