W. Tennis Takes Two Over Weekend

After having its psyche somewhat bruised on a recent 1-4 California road trip, the Harvard women's tennis team looked to redeem itself last weekend with an impressive opening to its Ivy League schedule.

After a thorough 7-0 trouncing of Columbia on Friday, the 35th-ranked Crimson followed up with a 4-3 victory over Penn the following day. Harvard  7 Columbia  0 Harvard  4 Penn  3

Although both the Lions and Quakers finished near the bottom of the Ivy League last year, the matches severely tested Harvard's ability to adjust to different playing conditions.

The Columbia match was played on an indoor clay surface, a foreign environment to the majority of the Crimson. But externalities can only overcome talent to a certain degree.

"We were kind of nervous, because we felt the shift could affect us," sixth-seeded sophomore Maryla Madura said. "We never practice on clay. But we were so much better, it didn't matter."

Among the singles victories was an impressive 6-2, 7-5 victory by freshman Gabriela Hricko playing at the fourth seed.


The Crimson were equally dominant in doubles. The first-seeded team of junior co-captains Kelly Granat and Kate Roiter won a tough match, 9-7, while sophomore Gina Majmudar and freshman Mylin Torres had an easier time at second doubles, triumphing 8-3.

When the Crimson took on 39th-ranked Penn, it was faced with another drastic change of surface--this time to outdoor hard court--which Madura admits "probably caused problems for some people."

Harvard had only started playing outdoor matches on the California trip, beginning with Northwestern on March 26.

The Crimson once again proved tough in doubles. Majdumar and Torres took their set, 8-3, while the thirdseeded team of Hricko and freshman Julia Kim triumphed 8-6. At first doubles, Granat and Kate Roiter performed admirably at first doubles but lost a tough match, 9-7.

After garnering the point, the Crimson quickly sealed the match with three singles victories. Roiter and Granat each won their matches, while Hricko pounded her opponent, 6-0, 6-0.

"We did a really good job [adjusting to the surface] and had no problems," Hricko said. "We're a very flexible team--if we're not playing well, we're finding ways to win, even if it's ugly."

"We were all very supportive of one another," Madura said. "Cheering and being positive definitely helped us."

The Crimson does not have much time to rest on its laurels. Next weekend will feature home matches against defending Ivy champion Princeton and Cornell--two of the league's top teams--with road trips to Brown and Yale a week later.

"We're really looking into winning the Ivy season title," Hricko said. "It's a very reasonable goal."