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Both the Harvard men's and women's tennis teams were impressive at this weekend's Rolex Intercollegiate Championships, held at Princeton and Penn, respectively.
Freshman Rosemary She led the way for the women's team, advancing to the singles final after a 6-3, 6-3 victory over William and Mary's Michelle O in the semifinals. Only the top seed, Lauren Nikolaus from William and Mary, could stop She. Nikolaus defeated She 6-0, 6-1 in Monday's final.
The second place finish earned She a berth to the Women's NCAA Indoor Championships in February. Her performance in the tournament was even more notable because she was an alternate.
"It was truly a remarkable performance by Rosie," Harvard coach Gordon Graham said. "An un-seeded player has never won this tournament and for an alternate to get this far is truly amazing."
"I thought that I played some of the best tennis that I've played in a long time," She said. "It was a pretty awesome tournament for me."
In men's action, Junior Mitty Arnold and senior Todd Meringoff downed the doubles team from Providence 6-0, 6-4 to claim the doubles title and advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships in February.
A three-set semifinal victory over Virginia Tech was the key to Meringoff's and Arnold's championship.
"That whole match [against Virginia Tech] was really close," Arnold said. "We both felt pretty lucky to win that one."
Even though they were seeded third, the Crimson duo did not expect to win the championship.
"We were pretty loose because we didn't have expectations of winning the whole thing and that helped us," Arnold said.
Meringoff, a two-time Rolex champion, was also impressive in singles action, advancing to the semifinals along with teammate sophomore Thomas Blake.
Blake's biggest singles victory of the tournament came in the quarterfinals when he edged the second seed Oliver Mayo of Virginia Tech, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5).
Sophomore Philip Tseng and Blake advanced to the doubles semifinals before being upset by the team from Providence 7-5, 6-3.
In other men's doubles action, freshman Kunj Majmudar and junior Josh Hausman advanced to the third round before falling to the eighth seed from Virginia Tech 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
In other men's single matches, Tseng advanced to the quarterfinals, Hausman survived until the round of sixteen and Majmudar and freshman Michael Passarella made it to the third round.
In women's singles, sophomore Mylin Torres was edged out by fifth seed Michelle O in the quarterfinals. Sixth seed Johanna Sones from William and Mary knocked out junior Gina Majmudar in the third round.
The Crimson was very strong in women's doubles. Senior Kelly Granat and She lost to the second seed from William and Mary in the quarterfinals 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).
Torres and sophomore Gabriela Hricko and Majmudar and senior Kate Roiter advanced to the third round before losing to the number two and four seeds, respectively.
"These are the strongest, deepest doubles teams that we've had since I've been at Harvard," Graham said.
As long as the women can avoid injuries, the Crimson should make its mark in the spring.
"If we get all our players healthy and playing well, we're going to be a very tough team," Graham said. "This tournament showed me that we can play with William and Mary and hopefully, we can catch them in the spring."
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