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Tony the Tiger says, "GRRR-eat!"
Ditto the Princeton Tigers, following their 6-3 upset of the Harvard women's tennis team Monday at the Lenz Tennis Center in Princeton, N.J.
The Tigers' season-ending rip-roaring win over Harvard (10-6 overall, 6-1 Ivy) gives Princeton (6-1 Ivy) a share of the Ivy title, forcing the Crimson to split the crown for the second consecutive year. The title is the Crimson's eighth-straight Ivy championship.
"[Princeton] played for reaching first place, whereas we could do no worse than tie," Harvard Co-Captain Jamie Henikoff said. "Still, I was upset that we had to share the title."
The Tigers duo of Aila Winkler and Katie Evashevski kicked off the match by downing Cristina Dragomirecu and Jen Minkus, 6-4, 6-4, at second doubles to tally the match's first score.
Harvard's Erika Elmuts and Co-Captain Nicole Rival rallied the Crimson to tie the match, as the freshman-senior combination dropped Princeton's Kim Han and Polly Held in straight sets at third doubles.
First doubles turned into a blow-for-blow barnburner for the Crimson's terrorizing tandem of Amy deLone and Henikoff.
The Harvard pair dropped a heartbreaking first set to Diana Gardner and Lauren Fortgang, 7-6, but bounced back to nab the middle stanza and force a third set.
Tied, 4-4, in the deciding set, the Tigers broke deLone's serve to go one game shy of victory. The 100 rabid rowdies at Lenz Tennis Center exploded in excitement, bearing down on theHarvard competitors.
Gardner and Fortgang held serve to scoop thematch and a 2-1 advantage into the Tigers' claws.
"We lost some key games in the third set,"deLone said. "At 4-4, I was on serve, but the gameturned out to be really long--over 20 minutes.[The fans] went crazy when we lost. They hadalmost twice as many fans as we get at Beren[Tennis Center]. With so much cheering, it washard to come back."
"I've never seen so many people for a women'stennis match," Henikoff added.
Princeton's Diana Gardner dropped deLone, 6-1,6-0, at first singles to close out the final matchof the Tiger senior's collegiate career.
"[Gardner] didn't miss a ball," deLone said."She aced me and hit winners left and right. Sheplayed so well."
Trailing, 3-1, Rival temporarily rescued theCrimson, as she crushed the Tigers' Kristin Green,7-6, 6-2, at fifth singles.
Henikoff hurled Harvard within strikingdistance of the Tigers at second singles. Shefried Fortgang to tie the match.
Dragomirescu followed by slugging it out withWinkler in a three-set struggle. After droppingthe first set, Dragomirescu whipped Winkler in themiddle stanza to knot the match at one set apiece.
It just wasn't meant to be.
Winkler rebounded to nip Dragomirescu, 7-6, inthe third and final set to notch the win and putthe Tigers a match from clinching a stake in theIvy title.
The Tigers' Han then handled Minkus in astraight-set slamming that gave the Crimson'sfourth-singles player--who has been hindered byhamstring problems all year--the most defeats ofany Harvard women's tennis player in one season(19).
Evashevski edged Elmuts in three sets toprovide the final count.
THE NOTEBOOK: Number-two DeLone led thesquad in singles victories with 16, closing outthe season with a 16-12 record. Number-oneDragomirescu finished her senior season with a 5-7record; number-three Henikoff closed out 11-5; andnumber-four Minkus concluded at 6-19. Number-fiveRival swept all seven of her Ivy matches,finishing with a 10-5 overall record, whilenumber-six Elmuts completed her freshman seasonwith an 11-8 mark...In doubles, thedeLone-Henikoff duo swiped 10 of its 15 matches,Drago and Minkus finished 4-4 and the Elmuts-Rivalconnection closed out 5-2.Tigers, 6-3 in Princeton, N.J.
1. Diana Gardner (Princeton) d. Amy deLone(HARVARD), 6-0, 6-1; 2. Jamie Henikoff (HARVARD),d. Lauren Fortgang (Princeton), 6-1, 6-2; 3. AilaWinkler (Princeton) d. Cristina Dragomirescu(HARVARD), 6-4, 6-7, 7-6; 4. Kim Han (Princeton)d. Jen Minkus (HARVARD), 6-2, 6-3; 5. Nicole Rival(HARVARD) d. Kristin Green (Princeton), 7-6, 6-2;6. Katie Evashevski (Princeton) d. Erika Elmuts(HARVARD), 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.
1. Gardner/Fortgang (Princeton) d.deLone/Henikoff (HARVARD), 7-6, 5-7, 6-4; 2.Winkler/Evashevski (Princeton) d.Dragomirescu/Minkus (HARVARD), 6-4, 6-4; 3.Rival/Elmuts (HARVARD) d. Han/Polly Held(Princeton), 6-3, 6-4
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