Ivy Opponents Best Crimson at ITA Regionals

After a disappointing end to the fall season, Harvard looks forward to the spring.

A Tachibana Christmas
Audrey I Anderson

Juniors Hideko Tachibana, shown above in earlier action, and Kristin Norton were the top-seeded doubles pair entering the ITA Northeast Regional Tournament, but were defeated by Ivy rival Yale in the fourth round, extinguishing hopes of a first-place finish to close the fall season.

Despite a strong showing at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional Championship, the Crimson eventually came up short on both the singles and doubles sides. After losses to fellow Ivy League competitors in the Oct. 21-25 tournament in New Haven, Harvard forfeited its chance to advance to the ITA National Tournament.

The Crimson entered a total of six single players and three pairs of doubles teams in the tournament.

Of those that competed, all six singles competitors advanced to at least the second round in the main draw, and two of the doubles teams made it to the quarterfinals of the main draw before falling to a pair of Yale squads.

Two Harvard singles players—senior Sam Gridley and freshman Sylvia Li—began in the qualifying draw. Gridley downed Penn’s Emma Whitfield and Quinnipiac’s Jackie Raynor, while Li beat out Aleksandra Pavlovic of Long Island University and Jana Luste of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Gridley’s and Li’s victories in the qualifying round allowed them to advance to the main draw.

In the first round of the main draw, Gridley and Li sustained their winning ways.

The senior downed Jennifer Holtzberg of Rutgers, while the freshman took Stony Brook’s Polina Movcahn in two of three sets.

“Silvia played very well,” said Gridley, “It was a really good win.”

Despite the solid start, Li dropped a close match to ninth-seeded Misia Krasowski of Brown, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the round of 32.

Gridley couldn’t handle Penn’s 17th-seeded Aleksandra Ion, falling 6-2, 6-4.

“She didn’t miss a lot, so we had a lot of grueling, grinding points,” Gridley said of Ion. “It was like 30-ball rallies; we were the last people on the court.”

Meanwhile, Crimson juniors Camille Jania and co-captain Kristin Norton were able to advance to the round of sixteen only to have their title hopes dashed before reaching the quarterfinals.

Jania bested both Jessica Linero of Boston University and Penn’s 10th-seeded Augustina Sol Eskenazi before her winning streak came to an end.

Jania’s loss to 7th-seeded Vicky Brook of Yale in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 decision marked an end to the tournament and her fall season.

Likewise, No.12-seed Norton handily took Adel Arshavskaya of Columbia, 6-0, 6-0, and Abby Liu of Hartford, 6-0, 6-4, before being downed by the No. 5-seed Erina Kikuchi of Boston College 6-1, 6-0.

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