No. 66 Harvard Falls to No. 36 Yale, Ekes Out Win at Brown

Karen Zhou

Junior co-captain Holly Cao, shown above in previous action, was undefeated at No. 1 singles this weekend against No. 36 Yale and No. 45 Brown, but the standout lost both of her No. 2 doubles matches. The Crimson hung on for a narrow win against the Bears to stay in the Ivy League title hunt.

With its chance at the Ivy title on the line, the No. 66 Harvard women’s tennis team (9-8, 4-2 Ivy) kept pace this weekend in the race for the championship—first starting off slowly but sprinting to success in the end.


When the women took the court yesterday to face No. 45 Brown (15-8, 4-2), the Crimson was in a must-win situation—a victory in Providence would rejuvenate Harvard’s championship hopes, and a loss would have dashed them completely.

But when the stakes were high, the team’s sharp play was able to pull out a 4-3 victory over the Bears, keeping the hungry Crimson in contention for the Ancient Eight crown.

In the doubles matches, Harvard spared no time to start scoring, claiming the point with strong showings in the No. 1 and No. 3 matches.


The duo of freshman Natalie Blosser and sophomore Alexandra Lehman dismantled its opponents, 8-6, at the No. 3 spot, and sophomores Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton, the Crimson’s top twosome, were able to pull out a 9-8 nail-biter against a strong Brown pair.

“Overall, I think the whole match was very indicative of the team’s fight,” Harvard coach Traci Green said. “They all practiced hard all week and played to their potential to grab that point.”

In the No. 6 match, freshman Hannah Morrill looked to set the tone, making quick work of her opponent. Morrill toppled Brown junior Julie Flanzer in two sets, 6-4, 6-2.

But the Bears would bounce back, sweeping the Crimson in the next three matches and taking both the lead and the momentum from the visitors.

Both Blosser and junior Samantha Gridley suffered tough losses, the former falling, 6-2, 6-2, in her No. 4 match. The latter lost in the first set, 6-2, and then was shut out in the second to lose the No. 5 point.

In the No. 3 match, Norton got off to a great start against Brown junior Cassandra Herzberg, winning the first set, 7-5.

In the second, Herzberg responded, forcing a third set with a 6-4 finish, and posting a 6-3 score to take the match for the Bears.

The day’s victor was to be decided in the top two matchups.

Junior co-captain Holly Cao made up for her earlier loss in doubles with a 6-2, 6-2, win on the No. 1 court. Then, exchanging 6-1 sets to force a third set at the No. 2 spot, Tachibana proved just enough to outdo her opposition, squeaking out a 6-4 win over senior Bianca Aboukabare to clinch the victory for her team.



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