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The Harvard women's tennis team would rather forget last weekend.
On Friday, Brown Coach Norma Taylor protested Harvard's 5-4 win over the Bruins after having accused the Crimson of cheating.
And on Saturday, Yale pounced on a down-and-out Harvard squad, defeating the Crimson, 6-3.
The Crimson must now top Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., and survive Taylor's protest to share the Ivy title with the Bruins (6-1 Ivy).
"I am glad to be home," Harvard Coach Gordon Graham said. "It was a horrible trip. Playing Brown was very demanding. There was a lot of match pressure and tension outside of the extraneous stuff. The kids were drained physically and mentally."
Unlike its past matches, Harvard (13-5 overall, 4-1 Ivy) failed to pull out its three-set matches. Its top players played uncharacteristically poor. And team spirit hit rock bottom.
Harvard started off on the right foot as Sam Ettus and Rachel Pollock raced past Kari Weiner and Adrienne Amato in straight sets to give the Crimson the early lead.
But then the proverbial excrement hit the fan. Yale's Lynn Rosenstrach and Lee Denley shocked the Crimson's 30th-ranked doubles tandem of Amy deLone and Jamie Henikoff in straight sets. In addition to tying the match, 1-1, the loss jeopardizes deLone and Henikoff's front-running position for an NCAA tournament doubles berth. The two seniors (23-9 overall) had seemingly clinched a berth--which is chosen by an NCAA committee--after defeating Boston College's Jennifer Lane and Pam Piorkowski and Princeton's Aila Winkler and Lauren Fortgang, their main competition for the spot.
"We didn't fight and pull out the matches like we should have," Graham said. "We started with a doubles team [deLone and Henikoff] that should beat everyone in the East, and they lost in straight sets."
"In second doubles, Melissa McNabb and Erika Elmuts were two match points down in the second set," Graham added, "and they came back to win that set and go up 5-2 in the third set. Then they lost five straight games and with it, the match. We were going in to singles knowing we had to win four straight, and we just didn't have it."
in New Haven, Conn.
1. Lynn Rosenstrach (Yale) d. Amy deLone (HARVARD), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1; 2. Jamie Henikoff (H) d. Laura Flynn (Y), 6-1, 7-5; 3. Lee Denley (Y) d. Liza Parker (H), 6-3, 6-4; 4. Sam Ettus (H) d. Kari Weiner (Y), 6-2, 6-2; 5. Audrey Delaney (Y) d. Erika Elmuts (H), 6-2, 6-2; 6. Adrienne Amato (Y) d. Rachel Pollock (H), 6-3, 7-5.
1. Rosenstrach/Denley (Y) d. deLone/Henikoff (H), 6-2, 6-4; 2. Flynn/Delaney (Y) d. Elmuts/Melissa McNabb (H), 6-4, 5-7, 7-5; 3. Rachel Pollock/Ettus (H) d. Weiner/Amato (Y), 6-3, 6-4.
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