Harvard's women's tennis team went west last week for its annual spring tune up, and came home sporting a respectable 3-3 record.
The six-member squad, with coach Peter Felske in tow, had difficulty early in the week adjusting to the warm California weather and the outdoor courts, but eventually got on track to take three of its final four matches.
The racquetwomen saved their biggest win for last, triumphing over the University of California at Santa Clara last Friday. Playing number one. Tiina Bougas won in straight sets and Maria Pe followed suit with a three-set victory in the second slot, but the racquetwomen still could manage only a 3-3 standoff after the singles matches. The Crimson then poured it on under the lights by sweeping the three doubles matches for a 6-3 win.
In a three-team round-robin tournament the day before in Pomona, the squad dropped a 5-4 decision to home team California Polytechnic University in the morning, but came back in the afternoon with a shutout win over Northern Colorado University.
Playing in extremely windy conditions, Harvard came up short against its Californian rivals Thursday despite a double win by Erica Schulman. The freshman won, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the third singles position and triumphed again in three sets at second doubles with Bougas. Other wins came from Pe and captain Martha Roberts in singles matches.
The Crimson had no trouble disposing of a weak Northern Colorado team. After Harvard dominated the six singles matches, officials cancelled the three doubles contests because of darkness.
The racquetwomen scored their first victory of the road trip against Michigan State March 25. Bougas, Schulman, Roberts and Debbie Kaliss won in singles, and Harvard swept the doubles matches for a 7-2 victory. Notable among the winners was the team of Pe and Roberts, which defeated the reigning Big Ten doubles champs in three sets.
Harvard got off to a rocky start with losses to the University of San Diego (9-0) and the University of Washington (7-2) on March 21 and 23, respectively. "We were not yet match tough." Pe explained, adding that the team's early opponents had more experience with outdoor playing conditions. San Diego, for example, had already played 20 or 30 matches before squaring off against the Crimson.
"The trip gave us excellent practice and good competition," senior Meg Meyer said yesterday. She added, "Match play is what we needed to prepare for our Ivy League opponents."