Women’s Tennis Tops Pair of Virginia Foes

Being forced to move indoors after the rain cancelled original plans to play outside, the Harvard women’s tennis team (7-4) showed no signs of struggle this weekend, defeating both William and Mary (4-14) and Old Dominion (9-7, 2-2 CAA) on its road trip to Virginia.

The Crimson began the weekend with a 5-2 victory over William and Mary on Saturday before topping Old Dominion, 4-1, the following day.

“Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t ideal for tennis since it rained on both days,” junior co-captain Kristin Norton said. “We had to adjust…to play indoors, and we did a good job making that transition.”

Six different Harvard players recorded wins over the two matchups, while the tandem of senior Samantha Gridley and junior Camille Jania went 2-0 in doubles play.

Against William and Mary, the Crimson went 4-2 in singles play after winning two out of three doubles matches to take the doubles point.

Old Dominion, on the other hand, notched the first team point of the match by winning on both the No. 1 and No. 2 courts in doubles. Harvard shot back and won four straight singles matches to clinch the victory before play concluded.

“I think we played very well,” junior co-captain Hideko Tachibana said. “We had two very good wins. All of this is to prepare for the Ivy League that’s coming up in two weeks. Hopefully, this momentum will help carry us forward heading into the Ivies.”

HARVARD 4, OLD DOMINION 1

Coming off of a win the day before, the Crimson’s doubles play was not as strong, but its singles play led the visiting Harvard squad it to victory.

The morning began with two losses in doubles. Old Dominion’s Diana Ivanova and Aleksandra Mitrovska knocked down No. 33 duo Tachibana and Norton at the No. 1 spot, 8-1, while Gridley and Jania defeated their foe, 8-3, at the No. 3 position.

The doubles point came down to play on the No. 2 court, where sophomore Hannah Morrill and freshman Kelly Whelan took on Lady Monarchs Melissa Esnal Olguin and Juliana Pires. The match went into a tiebreaker, but Esnal Olguin and Pires finished ahead, 9-8 (8-6).

Down 1-0 to start, it was Harvard’s singles play that was the key to its matchup against the Lady Monarchs.

Playing until decision, the Crimson swept through its singles competition, winning all of its singles matches until play was stopped.

Norton topped her foe first, sweeping Mitrovska, 6-0, 6-0, at the No. 2 spot. Jania also decidedly beat her opponent Esnal Olguin at the No. 3 position, 6-0, 6-1.

Tachibana’s first set on the No. 1 court went into extra games, but she came out on top, 7-5, before winning the second set, 6-2 to give Harvard the 3-1 team advantage.

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