Women's Tennis Falls at Yale, Takes Down Brown

Jennifer S Shi

Junior co-captain Kristin Norton, shown above in previous action, teamed with classmate Hideko Tachibana to notch a pair of doubles wins for the Harvard women’s tennis team over the weekend. Norton also added a singles victory against Brown in the Crimson’s 4-3 win on Sunday.

The Harvard women’s tennis team entered this past weekend’s matchups with an outside shot at winning the Ivy League title. Having already lost two matches in conference play, the Crimson needed a pair of wins in addition to a few upsets  to land in first place in the Ancient Eight.

But Harvard’s chances were cut short by first-place Yale on Friday when the Bulldogs handled the Crimson, 6-1, at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn. Yale proceeded to beat Dartmouth, 6-1, on Sunday to secure the outright Ivy title and to preserve its undefeated record in the Ancient Eight this season. The Crimson also ended its weekend on a positive note, taking down Brown, 4-3, at the Murr Center on Sunday afternoon.

Junior co-captain Hideko Tachibana went perfect over the two days, winning both of her doubles and singles matches—all at the No. 1 position.

“When I went on the court, my mindset was that I was going to fight for every single point no matter what,” Tachibana said. “Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when you see your teammates not doing so well in their matches, but I tried to stay as focused as possible on my own court, and I guess that worked in the end.”

Tachibana’s doubles partner, fellow junior co-captain Kristin Norton, also had a notable weekend, finishing with a win in one of her two singles matches to add to the doubles victories she shared with Tachibana.

The duo of senior Samantha Gridley and freshman Kelly Whelan also took a win at No. 2 doubles spot against Brown, while Whelan continued her momentum into singles play, defeating the Bears’ Sarah Kandath.

“We were really focused on ending the season well,” Tachibana said. “Hopefully if we beat Dartmouth next weekend, we’ll end in third [place].”

HARVARD 4, BROWN 3

The Crimson began its matchup against the Bears stronger than its contest against Yale.

Harvard jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point. Tachibana and Norton defeated their opponents, 8-2, while Brown’s Nikita Uberoi and Carissa Aboubakare took down sophomore Natalie Blosser and freshman Sylvia Li, 8-3, at the No. 3 position. At the No. 2 court, the match went into a tiebreaker, and the tandem of Gridley and Whelan beat their foes, 9-7.

Up 1-0 going into singles, the Crimson split the decisions. Brown took the No. 3, No. 4, and No. 6 matches over Blosser, Gridley, and Li, respectively. Blosser dropped her contest, 6-2, 6-4, before Gridley lost, 6-2, 6-3. Li fell 6-3, 6-2.

But at the No. 2 spot, Norton beat Jessica Harrow, 6-1, 6-4, and Whelan also defeated Kandath, 6-2, 6-3, at the No. 5 position.

The dual meet came down to the No.1 court, where Tachibana took on Misia Krasowski. Tachibana dropped the first set but came back strong in the next two, ultimately winning, 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-2.

YALE 6, HARVARD 1

The Crimson began its weekend on Friday with a 6-1 loss to the Bulldogs on the road.

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