With a short week of practice and players not in full health, the No. 46 Harvard women’s tennis team (2-3) was unable to pull out a win against the No. 71 Maryland Terrapins (5-1) yesterday afternoon, falling 6-1.
“Coming into the match today, quite a few girls on the team were not feeling very well, so we knew that it would be a tough match. We expected to fight for every single point,” Crimson junior co-captain Holly Cao said.
Fight is exactly what the Harvard squad did, going neck-and-neck with Maryland beginning in doubles. The Terps struck first with an 8-3 win on the No. 1 court. But soon after, Harvard freshman Natalie Blosser finished the doubles match on the No. 2 court with an ace, giving her and her partner, Cao, the win.
On the No. 3 court, things started off not looking very positive for co-captain Samantha Rosekranz and freshman Hannah Morrill, who fought back from a 7-4 deficit to knot the set at seven games each.
In the next game, Rosekranz and Morrill started off strong with a 40-0 lead, but after grueling back-to-back rallies, the Terps ended up earning the game point, putting them ahead, 8-7. Maryland took the last game, giving it the win on the No. 3 court and the doubles point.
In singles, Cao clinched the first win, beating her opponent, 6-4, 6-3, on the No. 1 court. Her last game went into a deuce, but Cao returned a hard shot past the Terps freshman Jordaan Sanford for the win.
Cao’s victory was the only point the Crimson would tally against Maryland the whole match.
Sophomore Hideko Tachibana dropped her match, 6-4, 6-4, on the No. 2 court.
Harvard junior Samantha Gridley rebounded from a 6-2 loss in her first set to a 6-0 win in her second, but her 6-1 loss in the final set on the No. 6 court moved the Terps another point ahead of the Crimson.
Harvard’s last hopes were washed away with a three-set match lost on the No. 3 court by sophomore Kristin Norton.
Norton won her first set, 6-4, but Maryland junior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar proved to be persistent and came back to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-1, to give the Terps their fourth overall point and the win.
Even with no chance for their team’s victory, the Crimson’s last two singles players did not give up.
“I’m really proud of our team and the way they fought out there today,” Harvard coach Traci Green said. “We don’t give ourselves excuses, but we just went out there, fought hard, and did the best we could today.”
After not winning a single game in the first set on the No. 5 court, Rosekrans persevered to win her second set, 6-3, but the Terps came out on top again, winning, 6-4.
In the longest match of the day, Blosser put up a hard fight on the No. 4 court. Blosser won the second set, 7-5, after losing the first, but in the end Maryland senior Julia Huschke managed to win the final set, 6-3.
“We were fighting through a lot of emotions with our energy level, but overall I think we pretty much won,” Green said. “Unfortunately the score didn’t go our way, but I think we won the mental battle out there.”
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