The Harvard women's tennis team made its Ivy League debut last weekend and emerged undefeated in its conference. Neither the wind nor the improved play of Cornell and Columbia could knock the Crimson (8-9, 2-0 Ivy) off its game, but both made the playing environment more difficult than the actual scores indicate.
Harvard topped Cornell 7-2 on Saturday, and posted a 9-0 shutout over Columbia the previous afternoon, improving the Crimson's overall record to 8-9.
Facing a young Cornell team of five freshman and one sophomore, Harvard had to exert more effort than it anticipated. Despite the surprising strong effort of the Big Red, the Crimson still managed to control the match.
Freshman Lara Naqushbandi, playing No. 5 singles, kicked off the match with an easy win over Cornell's Becky Sendrow. Naqushbandi had to expend little effort in downing her opponent, blanking Sendrow in the first set, and holding her at bay 6-3 in the second.
Suzanne Wright equalized the score for the Big Red only minutes later, upsetting the Crimson's top singles player, freshman Sanja Bajin. Bajin suffered an uncharacteristic loss, falling to Wright in two sets, 6-3 and 6-1.
Cornell attempted to steal the lead from Harvard during the No. 3 singles match, but freshman Jennie Timoney hung on to take the win in straight sets over Jodie Hurley. Struggling through the first set, Timoney pulled out a 7-5 victory and continued that trend with a decisive 6-1 score in the final set for the win.
The Big Red continued to battle back, knotting the score at two after No. 4 sophomore Fleur Broughton unsuccessfully fought both Daniela Del Prete and the wind, falling to Del Prete, 7-5 and 6-3 in straight sets.
Sophomore Sarah McGinty and junior Sanaz Ghazal combined in No. 6 and No. 2 doubles, respectively, to give the Crimson a decisive two-point lead heading in to doubles play. Despite the late surge of Piper Lucas in the second set, McGinty defeated her, 6-4, 7-6.
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