As the Harvard women's tennis team settles in for its long winter nap, one member of the squad already has visions of sugar plums--and national titles--dancing through her head.
Junior Kathy Vigna copped both singles and doubles honors at this weekend's Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches' Association (ITCA) regional qualifier at the University of Pennsylvania.
As a result, she--along with winners and runners-up in each of six national regions--will fly to Houston in early February to participate in the ITCA championships.
"For Kathy, the big thing is that this is the first major tournament win she's had since she's been at Harvard," Coach Don Usher said. "She won a tournament in which every top player in our region played, so you could say that makes her number one in the region."
Vigna--seeded ninth in the field of 16 contestants--began her quest for the singles crown by upsetting the number one seed, Princeton's Emily Schuette, in the opening round. She then rolled past teammate Robin Boss and William & Mary's Juliet Kaczmarek (seeded third) before edging last year's top seed, Meghan McMahon of Yale, in the finals.
In doubles action, Vigna and partner Erika Smith topped the Tiger duo of Schuette and Hilary Shane for the regional title.
"The thing about Kathy that often goes unnoticed is that, day in and day out, she's one of our most dependable performers," Usher said.
Vigna has racked up 153 wins in just two-and-a-half years--placing her second on the all-time Crimson victory list behind two-time All-American Elizabeth Evans '85 (176). So far this year--with the entire spring season still in front of her--Vigna has posted 32 wins for Harvard.
But while Vigna and Smith stole top honors, other netwomen also turned in noteworthy performances in Philadelphia. In singles, Martha Berkman almost defeated the fourth seeded Shane in the quarter finals, while Cyndi Austrian gave McMahon a scare in a tight three-set battle.
The Crimson doubles team of Berkman and Robin Boss suffered its first loss of the year, falling to the Princeton pair in the semifinals.
However, Usher believes that Berkman and Boss may yet receive bids to the Houston tourney, as several participants are selected at large to round out the national field.