The Harvard women's tennis team played the part of an inhospitable host yesterday afternoon at the Beren Tennis Center, coldly defeating Pennsylvania 6-0 in the Crimson's Ivy-League opener.
The win boasted strong performances throughout the line-up at both singles and doubles.
The double's action saw freshman Gina Majmudar and sophomore Kelly Granat team up for a win at number-two doubles and freshman Maryla Madura and captain Kendra Harris take the number-three doubles contest.
Winning for the Crimson in singles action were captain Jill Brenner in number-one singles, Majmudar in number-two, sophomore Kate Rioter in number-three, Madura in number four and Granat in number five--all in straight sets.
Harris split the first two sets with her opponent before the match was suspended with Harvard secure in victory. The 6-0 margin came under a new format instituted for the spring season in which one team point is awarded to the winner of two of the three eight-game pro-set doubles matches. The singles matches are each worth one point, as they were before.
The new format places greater emphasis on the singles matches and shortens the duration of dual meets.
"I think the new format favors the underdog in doubles," Granat said. "With the eight-game pro-set if you get down early its harder to make a comeback."
The Pennsylvania squad certainly came in as the decided underdogs but the Crimson didn't fall to the curse of the favorites--like the Boston Red Sox opponents in every game thus far this season.
"I think we're the pre-season favorites in the Ivy League," Granat said. "And Pennsylvania's just a pretty average Ivy League team."
"We had very high expectations coming into this match," sophomore Erica Cheng said.
The Crimson squad split with Pennsylvania last year--losing in the fall (4-5), but taking the spring rematch 5-4.
Harvard next faces Columbia tomorrow at the Beren Tennis Center--weather permitting.
The Crimson dropped a 3-6 decision to the Lions last spring, but the Crimson players are certainly likely to offer Columbia a challenge this season.