Harvard Starts Ivy Play with Pair of Wins

Parul Agarwal

Sophomore Holly Cao won both her singles matches as the Harvard women’s tennis team started its quest to repeat as Ivy champions on the right foot, beating Columbia, 7-0, and Cornell, 5-2, at home.

Opening its Ivy League season, the Harvard women’s tennis team handily defeated Columbia (9-10, 0-3 Ivy), 7-0, on Friday and Cornell (11-7, 1-2), 5-2, on Saturday at the Beren Tennis Center.

With the two wins, the Crimson (10-6, 2-0) now has a four-game winning streak, dating back to March 18. No. 52 Harvard also improved to 6-1 at home.

The Crimson cruised through the weekend, dropping only one singles match in the two days of competition. The team was forced to a third set in singles just three times.

“We stuck to our guns and got the job done,” Harvard coach Traci Green said.



The Crimson controlled singles all afternoon, as the five top-seeded players earned the win in their matches.

Of these wins, only junior Agnes Sibilski at No. 5 was forced to a third set, but Harvard had already clinched the victory by the time her match ended, 4-6, 7-5, 10-6, in Sibilski’s favor.

For Sibilski, who has been battling an injury, the match was her first since January.

“It’s tough for her—she hasn’t been playing a lot of matches,” sophomore Holly Cao said. “She lost the first set, but she found a way to win.”

Junior captain Samantha Rosekrans put together her second dominant performance of the weekend, dropping only one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Natalia Sanchez at No. 4.

“Sam, once again, played lights-out tennis,” Green said. “She showed what she has to offer to the team and really stepped up for us.”

No. 56 Cao defeated Christine Ordway, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 1. Cao took four consecutive games to win the first set and had little trouble in the second to complete the sweep.

When the two previously met on February 12 in the ECAC Tournament at Harvard, Cao won, 6-3, 6-0.

Harvard started the day with a loss, dropping all three doubles contests to fall behind, 1-0, early. The team of Cao and Rosekrans lost, 8-4, freshmen Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton fell by the score of 8-6, and sophomores Samantha Gridley and Caroline Davis could not keep it close in their 8-2 defeat.

“Cornell played really well in the doubles,” Green said. “We had a little bit of a slow start and just couldn’t really get out of the hole.”