“Our two wins were fantastic for our team and our team had an immeasurable amount of fun out west,” freshman Eva Wang said.
Harvard kicks off its Ivy season this weekend when it travels to Brown on Friday for a 2 p.m. match and hosts Dartmouth Saturday at 3 p.m.
“I think we’re all just really excited to go into Ivies,” captain Sanja Bajin said. “We’ve had such a great spring, and we’ve played some really good top teams, but we also know that we shouldn’t take any of the Ivy schools lightly just because they aren’t as highly ranked and don’t have as tough as schedule.”
Harvard 5, Fresno St. 2
Harvard began its West Coast trip in fine fashion with its third win over a top-20 team this year by defeating Fresno State (9-7) last Monday afternoon. The Crimson dropped a tough doubles point but bounced back to win five of the six singles matches.
“I think we were all really positive,” Bajin said. “I don’t think we were really phased by losing the doubles point.”
The singles victories tested Harvard’s endurance, as three of the wins took all three sets and sophomore Courtney Bergman was forced to play a first-set tiebreak. Wang secured the Crimson win with her victory at No. 4, making the score 4-2. Sophomore Susanna Lingman pulled out a straight-set win, while classmate Alexis Martire capped off the match with a three-set triumph.
California 6, Harvard 1
Harvard’s only loss of the week came Wednesday afternoon when it fell to national powerhouse California (15-2). Bajin recorded the only Crimson point in the match with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 5 over Nicole Havlicek.
“We definitely didn’t roll over and go in there thinking we were going to lose,” Bajin said. “All the matches were really close. It was obviously a little disappointing because we were going in there thinking we had a chance to win.”
The Golden Bears swept the doubles matches, despite Harvard’s success there this season.
“[California and Fresno State are] both top-20 teams, and once you get into the top teams in the nation, doubles is one of the stronger points,” Bajin said. “I think the top teams have more depth, so they have better combinations as teams.”
In the No. 1 doubles match, Bergman and Lingman dropped a 9-8 decision to Raquel Kops-Jones and Christina Fusano. Harvard dropped both the other matches 8-5. Bajin and Martire fell to Jieun Jacobs and Jody Scheldt at No. 2, and Wang and Anderson lost to Havlicek and Catherine Lynch in the third slot.
Though all the singles matches were tight, the Crimson lost in straight sets in the top four spots. Anderson fell in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, to Scheldt at No. 6.
“Given a better day, or perhaps a different setting, the results would likely be different,” Wang said. “If we play Cal again in the future, I’m sure the battle will be a close one.”