Women's Tennis Opens Ivy Play with Pair of Victories

In its opening weekend of Ivy League play, the Harvard women’s tennis team came out strong, defeating Cornell, 6-1, on Friday before mustering out a win over Columbia, 4-3, on Saturday at Beren Tennis Center.

Every Crimson player notched at least one victory over the two days, while senior Samantha Gridley, junior Camille Jania, and sophomore Hannah Morrill went 2-0 in singles play.

In doubles, the tandem of junior co-captain Hideko Tachibana and freshman Kelly Whelan also went 2-0 for the weekend in two close matches. Both contests went into extra games, but Tachibana and Whelan came out on top both times, 9-8 (5) against the Big Red, and 8-7 (5) against the Lions.

Harvard’s other doubles teams were not as consistent. The Crimson earned the doubles point only in its bout against Cornell when the duo of Gridley and Jania also got the win, defeating Gabby Sullivan and Rosemary Li on the No. 3 court.

“Having had a really tough match under our belts after this weekend and knowing we can come up with key shots in pressure situations will give us a lot of confidence going into next weekend,” Gridley said.

HARVARD 4, COLUMBIA 3

Coming off of a win in its first Ivy League match against Cornell the day before, the Crimson carried its momentum into its battle against the Lions, winning a close matchup.

Harvard started off in the hole after losing the doubles point in a trio of tight matchups.

Tachibana and Whelan got a win for the Crimson, defeating Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga of Columbia in a tiebreaker at the No. 1 spot, 8-7 (5). But Morrill and junior co-captain Kristin Norton lost a close battle, 8-6, on the No. 2 court, while Gridley and Jania dropped their contest at the No. 3 position by the same score.

But the Crimson took hold of the singles matches.

At the No. 3 spot, Jania handled Iani Alecsiu, 6-1, 6-2, while Gridley took down Katarina Kovacevic on the No. 5 court, 6-2, 6-3.

Morrill also swept her foe in a 6-0, 6-4 match.

After just three decisions, the Crimson was within one point of the team victory.

But with Harvard up 3-1, the Lions’ Sanon beat Norton at the No. 2 position, 6-3, 6-3 to bring Columbia within one.

The final two matches took all three sets to find a winner.

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