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Near-freezing temperatures, strong winds, and the absence of their top player, Tina Bougas, didn't keep Harvard's racquetwomen from crushing Boston College, 7-2, on the Terriers' home courts yesterday.
Coach Peter Felske moved all of his players up one slot while Bougas rested her bursitis-ridden feet. Captain Meg Meyer filled in at number one, and after a shaky start, defeated Kathy Lynch 6-4, 6-0. Felske said Bougas, who has not lost a set playing for the Crimson, "will rest for a couple of weeks before getting back on the court."
Second singles player Martha Roberts had to make an inspired comeback to give the Harvard top six a clean sweep. Down a set and befuddled by her opponent's slices, lobs and chip shots, Roberts regained her touch and overcame Betty Quigley 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Third and fourth singles became mere formalities after several exciting points during warm-ups. Abby Meiselman dissected Karen Santanielo's backcourt game for a 6-0, 6-3 win at number three while fourth singles player Debbie Kalish embarrassed Allison Ettinger 6-1, 6-0.
Kris Mertz blasted Mary Beth O'Brien from the court with scorching serves and accurate volleys on the way to a 6-2, 6-2 win in the fifth slot. Freshman Patty Vitale, playing varsity singles for the first time, provided the day's biggest surprise by stylishly disposing of Michelle DiCorlo 6-1, 7-5.
Pleased, but not shocked, by his new star's impressive debut, Felske said, "Patty is capable of playing as well as the top four," adding she has a good chance of moving up during winter challenge matches.
The first and second Crimson doubles teams fell victim to the cold and some spirited BC play, while Miki Keegan and Jackie Corrigan outlasted Sue Kevey and DiCorlo.
Keegan and Corrigan won a special "let's get serious--it's freezing" tiebreaker played after they split sets 6-1, 5-7. Harvard's Lisa Schneider and Rony Sebok tumbled at number one, 2-6, 2-6 to Lynch and Santanielo. BC's Quigley and O'Brien skated past Deirdre Wilde and Sarah Nicholas 2-6, 4-6.
The netwomen complete their successful fall season Tuesday against UMass. A victory would keep their dual match record perfect and complement victories in the Massachusetts State, Greater Boston Championships and a second-place finish in the New Englands. After Tuesday, the women concentrate on winter challenge matches, Felske said yesterday. "It's possible we will see some people moving up or down," he added.
April Showers Bring...
Once the warm weather arrives, Felske's troops will face the big Ivy guns. Yale and Princeton promise to be particularly tough opponents, he said.
Standing hunched over against the wind as yesterday's matches wound down, Felske spoke about Harvard's hosting the Ivy Championships in April and the Eastern Regionals in May. Amidst chattering teeth he managed a smile and added, "and then there's the nationals."
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