The Harvard women's tennis team, having already been eliminated from contention for the Ancient Eight title, looked to end its Ivy League season on a positive note against Dartmouth on Wednesday and solidify a bid for postseason play.
For Dartmouth, however, the postseason was Wednesday. Although the Big Green had no chance of consideration by the NCAA selection committee, the match against the Crimson represented an opportunity to send seniors Rebecca Dirksen and Allison Taff off as winners at home.
Sometimes, it really is a matter of who wants it more.
The Harvard women's tennis team lost its final Ivy League match of the season to Dartmouth at Leverone Field House, 6-3. By losing to the Big Green, the Crimson (11-11, 5-2 Ivy) failed to bolster its bid for a berth in the NCAA tournament, to be held in Malibu, California in late May.
With the win, the Big Green (10-8, 4-3 Ivy) defeated the Crimson for the first time in five years.
The Crimson split the six singles matches. Experience won out over youth in the marquee matchup, as freshman phenom No. 1 Sanja Bajin saw her three-game singles winning streak snapped by Dartmouth's Dirksen.
Dirksen, last year's Ivy League Player of the Year, had suffered a number of nagging injuries during most of the spring season. She showed no ill effects in her final collegiate singles game, however. She kicked off the match in dominant fashion, defeating Bajin 6-1 in the first set.
Bajin was able to make the second set close, but ultimately fell, 6-4, as Dirksen took the match in straight sets.
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