Harvard fans are used to seeing big games in New Haven. Time after time, championship dreams have come down to Harvard versus Yale, Crimson and Bulldogs, mano a mano. For decades, they have watched and cheered as their crimson-clad warriors battled for athletic greatness. Usually, though, those warriors are a bit bigger than 5’6.
And usually they’re not wearing skirts.
No matter its shape or size, the Harvard women’s tennis team just finished as dominating a season as any other team at Harvard. With a thumping of Brown on Friday and a win over Yale yesterday, the Crimson took one more step toward its second straight undefeated Ivy League campaign and clinched the Ancient Eight crown.
HARVARD 5, YALE 2
Both No. 35 Harvard and Yale (11-9, 6-1 Ivy) entered yesterday’s match up with perfect records. Only the Crimson (13-9, 6-0) would come out unblemished.
“I know they were undefeated, and no team is undefeated without being pretty tough, but I think we were all pretty focused and determined to win today. We haven’t lost to Yale in a long time, and they were obviously the ones that had something to prove,” said junior co-captain Courtney Bergman.
Harvard drew first blood by taking the doubles matches. Sophomores Eva Wang and Melissa Anderson swept their match 8-0 to jump ahead, but the Bulldogs answered back when Stephanie White and Olivia Nix won at No. 3 singles, 8-6. In No 1 singles the pairing of juniors Bergman and Susanna Lingman finished out with a 9-7 win to take the point.
“The doubles were pretty tight. Eva and Melissa won in no time, but eventually it came down to us,” Bergman said. “We played two people who were deceptively good, but we have a lot of confidence in each other and we knew we could pull the match out.”
The two co-captains went on to win their respective singles matches, putting Harvard ahead 3-0. No. 38 Bergman won 6-0, 6-1, and Lingman dominated in two sets, 6-2, 6-0.
The deciding singles match, between freshman Cindy Chu and White, had to be postponed and moved indoors as imposing weather moved in. But with Chu up 40-30 and 5-2, it took only one point to administer the clinching blow.
“I thought it was pretty funny actually,” Chu said. “But I had to tell myself to focus and I tried not to think about it.”
Yale was able to pick up a pair of wins, from seniors Rashmee Patil and Ashley Martin. Both were playing in their last competitive collegiate matches. The final Crimson point came from Eva Wang, who defeated Reshmi Srinath, 6-2, 6-2.
Besides picking up an Ivy League title with the win, the Crimson earned a berth in the NCAA Championships in May.
“I think we’re carrying a lot of momentum into the championships, and I think we’re all really eager to get there,” Bergman said.
HARVARD 7, BROWN 0
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