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For about a week, it looked as thought the Harvard women's tennis team would lose its eight-year stranglehold on the Ivy title.
Last Tuesday, an Ivy committee ruled that Harvard would have to forfeit its win against Brown. Coupled with the Crimson's loss to Yale two Saturdays ago, the Bruins would emerge as Ivy champions.
But for Harvard. the situation has improved drastically over the past week. The Crimson defeated Dartmouth, 6-3, Wednesday in Hanover, N.H., and Cornell, 8-1, Friday at Beren Tennis Center. Harvard is now in the position to share the Ivy title with Brown if the Crimson (15-5 overall, 6-1 Ivy) wins its appeal to a higher Ivy committee.
Chances are good that the higher Ivy committee will rule in Harvard's favor by next Monday. Brown (6-1 Ivy, if Harvard wins its appeal), which protested the Crimson's 5-4 win, is arguing that Harvard Coach Gordon Graham took too much time--20 minutes instead of the allotted 10 minutes--n substituting a player into the Crimson lineup.
Harvard, however, claims that it took only five minutes to make the substitution. The Crimson must now wait a week before the Ivy committee makes a ruling, one that will have a significant effect on Harvard's finish this season.
Although the Crimson's fate in the Ivy League may be decided off the court, Harvard is still doing everything it can with the racket to control its own destiny. Harvard's two impressive wins over the Big Green and Big Red have enabled it to share the Ivy title, should the Crimson win its appeal.
Tied, 2-2, with Dartmouth (4-3 Ivy), number-two Jamie Henikoff pulled out a three-setter, her 25th win of the season, against Alexis Boss to put Harvard ahead by one.
Harvard's seventh singles player, Rachel Pollock, filled in for number-three Melissa McNabb--who suffered a pulled stomach muscle in doubles play--and defeated Shannon Crockett to make it 4-2.
Number-four Sam Ettus clinched the match with her 20th win of the season--the first freshman to do so since Jamie Henikoff in 1987--over Cathy Birkeland.
Chewing Big Red
The Crimson finished its season on a high note, trouncing last-place Cornell (0-7 Ivy).
Harvard swept doubles, with wins by Amy deLone and Henikoff, Pollock and Ettus, and Jen Minkus and Liza Parker to take a 3-0 lead.
DeLone, Henikoff, Erika Elmuts, Pollock and Parker prevailed in first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth singles to provide the final margin of victory.
NCAA Snubs DeLone, Henikoff
On a sad note, Harvard's superior doubles tandem of deLone and Henikoff will not participate in the NCAA doubles tournament later this month.
The NCAA committee invited Boston College's Jennifer Lane and Pam Piorkowski instead of the Crimson pair. Although deLone and Henikoff soared to a straight-set win over the Eagles pair last month, Lane and Piorkowszki defeated deLane and Henikoff twoice last fall.
Land and Piorkwski's winning record was probably the basis for their selection to the NCAA tourney.
DeLone and Henikoff finish the season at 25-9, and are likely to be ranked in the top 20 when the Volvo/ITCA rankings come out later this week.
in Hasover, N.H.
1. Doris Lee (Dartmouth) d. Amy deLone (HARVARD), 6-2, 6-4; 2. Jamie Henikoff (H) d. Alexis Boss (D), 6-2, 3-6, 6-2; 3. Rachel Pollock (H) d. Shannon Crockett (D), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4; 4. Sam Ettus (H) d. Cathy Birkeland (D), 6-3, 6-1; 5. Jen Minkus (H) d. Melissa Diaz-Meranda (D), 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; 6. Jennifer Dirkson (D) d. Erika Elmuts (H), 6-4, 7-5.
1. deLone/Henikoff (H) d. Crockett/Boss (D), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; 2. Lee/Birkeland (D) d. Elmuts/ Melissa McNabb (H), 6-2, 6-2; 3. Pollock/Ettus (H) d. Dirkson/Melissa Bromberg (D), 6-4, 7-6.
at Berea Teamins Center
1. Amy deLone (HARVARD) d. Jen Kenas (Cornell), 6-4, 6-0; 2. Jamie Henikoff (H) d. Michelle Deast (C), 6-1, 6-4; 3. Wan Chen (C) d. Jen Minkus (H), 6-3, 7-5; 4. Erika Elmuts (H) d. Judy Beckenbach (C), 6-1, 6-4; 5. Rachel Pollock (H) d. Carol Katz (C), 6-0, 6-2; 6. Liza Parker (H) d. Chris McKennon (C), 6-4, 6-3.
1. deLone/Henikoff (H) d. Kenas/Beckenbach (C), 6-0, 6-2; 2. Pollock/Ettus (H) d. Deasy/Chan (C), 6-3, 6-4; 3. Minkus/Parker (H) d. McKennon/Katz (C), 6-3, 6-1.
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