Women's Tennis Claims Five of Seven Flights

Jennifer S Shi

Co-captain Hideko Tachibana, shown above in earlier action, was one of three Crimson women’s tennis players to take home a singles title at the Harvard Fall Invitational over the weekend. Tachibana won the blue flight, besting Crimson freshman Hai-Li Kong in two sets, 6-1, 6-1.

The Harvard women’s tennis team dominated its own tournament—the Harvard Fall Invitational—this weekend, with six individuals and two doubles pairs reaching the finals. The tournament was divided into five different single and two doubles flights, and the Crimson took home titles in five of those brackets.

Harvard competed against players from Boston University, Boston College, and New Jersey Institute of Technology on the courts at the Murr Center.

“I was really proud of the way our team competed this weekend; it was a nice way to wrap up the fall season,” Crimson coach Traci Green said. “Everyone was working hard in practice, and it really showed out there in the matches this weekend.”

On the singles side, co-captain Hideko Tachibana, co-captain Kristin Norton, and freshman Amanda Lin took home titles for the Crimson. Tachibana won the blue flight after topping Harvard freshman Hai-Li Kong, 6-1, 6-1, while Lin defeated Madison Craft of BU in the finals of the orange flight. Norton won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, against Crimson sophomore Sylvia Li to capture the green flight.

Green said she was impressed with Li’s play, despite the sophomore’s loss in the finals of her bracket.

“Sylvia Li has been playing very well—she has been playing well all semester,” Green said. “Hopefully she can keep the momentum going for the spring season.”

In addition, freshman Chrystal Yen made a finals apperance, though she ultimately fell to BU’s Kim McCallum, 7-6(5), 6-3, in the yellow flight.

In the lone final devoid of a Crimson face, Katya Vasilyev of Boston College won the red flight with a win over Vivian Laszloffy of the Terriers. Vasilyev took the first set, 7-5, and Laszloffy retired before the start of the second set.

In doubles, Norton and He defeated Kuzmenko and Macdonald from NJIT, 8-2, in the finals of the crimson flight. Norton and He come into the season ranked No. 37 in the country in doubles, second best in the Ivy League behind Penn’s duo of Julianna Rodin and Agustina Sol Eskenazi.

Lin and Li won a marathon match against Vasilyvev and Kelleher from Boston College, winning in a tiebreaker, 9-8(1), to capture the Harvard flight.

“Doubles-wise, I was really impressed by the development of Li and Lin,” Green said. “They showed their tenacity on the courts winning the hard-fought match against Boston College.“

The Harvard Invitational brought an end to the Crimson’s five-tournament fall season.

According to Tachibana, the freshmen’s success this weekend was an affirmation of their growth throughout the fall season. A trio of rookies came away with a total of one title and two second-place finishes.

“They don’t seem like freshmen any more,” Tachibana said.

As they enter the offseason, Crimson players and coaches alike emphasized preparation for a tough spring schedule.

The Crimson went 11-7 overall last season, with a 4-3 mark in Ivy League, finishing tied for third with Columbia.

“Right now I think [the offseason] is all about maintenance,” Tachibana said. “It’s a matter of making sure we stay in shape and making sure we keep our skills sharp.”

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