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The Crimson netwomen blazed through their first tournament of the fall season, easily capturing the Greater Boston Championships Saturday at MIT. The racquetwomen took four singles titles and a doubles crown in the process.
Saying the Crimson dominated the afternoon would not be far from the truth, as seven of the nine Harvard entrants made it to the finals of their brackets.
In the number one spot, freshman Tiina (yes, two i's) Bougas led the attack and lived up to her pre-season billing, prevailing in the Boston Championship in her first Harvard match.
Playing well enough to make everyone forget about Betsy Richmond (last year's Boston champ) for a little while. Bougas lost only four games in her two matches to snatch the crown. She thumped B. U.'s Barbara O'Halloran, 6-1, 6-2, in the finals with the aid of a strong service return and several unforced errors by her opponent.
Another freshman, Debbie Kalish, whom Crimson coach Peter Felske called "the hardest hitting player on the team" took the fifth singles championship with a strong serve and volley game, topping Sara Dunne of Tufts, 6-2, 6-1, in that final.
And then there were the "veteran" sophomores of this relatively young team who came through with wins. Cool Kris Mertz (who makes Chris Evert look hyperactive), last year's fifth singles champ, came back to take the sixth singles champ, came back to take the sixth singles crown with a strong service game, stopping Kathy Cutler, 6-0, 6-3.
In a rematch of last year's number four singles final. Abbie Meiselman avenged her earlier loss, defeating Tuft's Wendy Shahon, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, in a controversial match which saw linesmen summoned after several questionable calls occured in the second set.
Rounding out the list of winners, Deidre Wilde and Patty Vitale grabbed the third doubles title, defeating Ellen Swartz and Anna Houchhousen of Tufts 6-3,6-3 for the championship.
Felske also got strong performances and scoring from co-captain Meg Meyer, who made it to the finals in the second singles draw before falling to B.U.'s Janet Sleoper, 6-2, 6-4, and Martha Roberts, who was upset in the first round of the third singles, but came back to win the consolation.
Closing the scoring, the first doubles team of Veronica S ebock and Lisa Schneider also tallied points for the Crimson despite losing in their finals to Tufts, 6-2, 7-6.
Hope for the Future
Harvard's second consecutive GBC title (they were co-champions with Tufts last year) bodes well for the future. Playing against improving competition on a variety of court surfaces and in the fluctuating weather conditions on the outdoor courts at MIT, the women were unruffled.
Who knows? This could be the beginning of something big. As Bougas said after the match. "Peter has really developed the team. He's going out of his way to develop the Harvard team into a national caliber team instead of just a New England power."
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