The Crimson (9-9, 2-0 Ivy) took 12 out of the 14 matches on the weekend, as it coasted to victories against both squads.
HARVARD 5, CORNELL 2
Harvard did what it had to do on Saturday taking the first four points of the match on its way to a 5-2 win. Despite battling injuries and key absences, the Crimson easily handled the Big Red (6-6, 1-3).
“We were in control,” sophomore No. 1 Eva Wang said. “We were down at points but we knew were going to win.”
Wang teamed up with junior Alexis Martire at the first doubles spot and demonstrated that determination in an 8-6 win. Martire and Wang repeatedly pulled ahead only to have Cornell tie the match back up, before finally pulling out the tightest doubles match of the day.
The No. 2 doubles team of junior co-captain Courtney Bergman and freshman Cindy Chu and the No. 3 tandem of sophomore Melissa Anderson and freshman Preethi Mukundan had already secured the doubles point with 8-1 and 8-4 victories, respectively.
No. 1 Wang—forced to move up in the ladder due to injuries to Bergman and Susanna Lingman—had an easier time defeating her singles opponent, as she registered a 6-2, 6-1 straight set win.
In the fifth spot on the singles ladder, the Crimson’s Alli Pillinger notched a win in her first match after returning from a four-month stint on the disabled list. Her 6-1, 6-1 victory pushed the Harvard lead to 3-0.
The match was sealed by Mukundun’s thumping of the Big Red’s Erika Takeuchi in the No. 3 singles match—6-2, 6-1. This enabled one of the many Harvard players battling injury to step down as No. 6 Lyly Cao Minh retired trailing 4-6, 1-4, giving the Big Red its first point.
In the No. 2 singles spot, Martire won another close battle splitting the first two sets with Akane Kokubo by beating her opponent in a tie-breaker.
The hardest fought point was the last as Harvard’s Cindy Chu fell to Cornell’s Kaisa Preneta 2-6, 7-6, 1-0 in the No. 4 singles match, earning the Big Red’s final point.
HARVARD 7, COLUMBIA 0
The Crimson broke its four-game losing streak by sweeping Columbia 7-0 in its Ivy League opener despite injuries, cold weather, and a slight wind.
“We were prepared to play outside and inside,” said head coach Gordon Graham. “The wind equalizes things and the score is probably closer than it should have been. It was good to get back on the winning track and focus on improvement.”
Junior co-captain Courtney Bergman and freshman Cindy Chu blanked Columbia’s Kendal Murphy and Molly Condit at number two doubles. Bergman also posted a win over Columbia’s Milena Kachar in the No. 1 singles spot.