In a key test before this weekend's Ivy League championships, the Crimson netwomen relied upon a late doubles rally to squeeze by the Brown Bruins 5-4 yesterday afternoon at Palmer Dixon Courts.
Once again, the victory depended upon the successful play of the singles. Tiina Bougas began the afternoon in her usually impressive fashion by dominating her small Bruin opponent and the match 6-0, 6-1.
"I think I've had trouble maintaining my concentration in some of my matches," Bougas said, adding that she now feels her mini-slump is over.
Bougas excited the unusually large crowd with her near flawless play during the first set. Bruin first singles player Nancy Nyquist could not offer any defense as Bougas repeatedly forced her into errant volleys.
The freshman showed Nyquist no mercy as she continued the massacre in the second set. Outclassing her counterpart the Crimson yardling shelled Nyquist to produce the early 1-0 match lead.
The victory trend continued for the squad when Martha Roberts disposed of her second singles opponent in two sets. Roberts earned a quick first set win but then lost her edge early in the second set. Roberts recovered to defeat Mara Rodgers 7-5 for the two set triumph.
Third singles produced the first loss of the afternoon for the Crimson. Captain Meg Meyer suffered a first set lapse, losing 6-3, and could not regain her winning edge. Battling back from the deficit, Meyer came close but fell 7-5 for the first Brown win.
Fourth-slotter Abby Meiselman continued to brighten the Crimson hopes for the Ivy tournamens by pounding Nancy Stroker in a convincing display of her ability. Meiselman edged out a 6-3 first set win and followed that with a 6-0 massacre.
Following Leslie Miller's tought three set loss number six player Kristin Mertz recovered from a first set loss to capture the match in three.
Mertz used her agile frame to force Bruin Jane Meisel out of position throughout the last two sets. Placing shots deep in the corners Mertz calmly slammed home Meisel's weak returns for winners.
What looked like an easy win suddenly turned into a nightmare as Coach Peter Felske's team fell apart during first and second doubles to give the Bruins the lead.
Fortunately for the Crimson, Meiselman and Mertz smashed the Bruin surge with a hey-we-can-do-it-any-time-we want two set win.
The pair combined to eke out a tough first set decision before crushing the Bruin's duo for the second set and the Harvard triumph.
The win evens the netwomen's mark at 3-3 as they now prepare for revenge this weekend.