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Harvard Women's Tennis Wraps Up Fall Season With Strong Performances at Harvard Invitational

A Harvard women's tennis player hits a backhand return during a match against Boston College on Nov. 8, 2021. Nearly a year later, the Crimson continued its success against the Eagles, claiming all but one of its singles matches.
A Harvard women's tennis player hits a backhand return during a match against Boston College on Nov. 8, 2021. Nearly a year later, the Crimson continued its success against the Eagles, claiming all but one of its singles matches. By Owen A. Berger
By Caroline Gage, Crimson Staff Writer

In its final competition of the fall season, Harvard’s women’s tennis team faced off against Boston College and Boston University at home for the Harvard Invitational. Throughout the short fall season, the Crimson saw action at the ITA Super Regionals, Brown Quad Invite, and Harvard Fall Classic, with overall positive results. The Harvard Invitational gave players a chance to compete in a dual-match format, the predominant format for the spring season.

“As a team we’ve definitely been building a lot and this was our last tournament of the fall season, so it was really exciting to be able to showcase all the hard work we’ve been doing,” said sophomore Angel You, who competed in both singles and doubles over the weekend.

Harvard had an impressive showing in singles, finishing out the weekend with a 13-4 record after a series of exciting matches. On the first day of competition, the Crimson took all but one of its singles matches against Boston College. First-year top-seed Charlotte Owensby came back after dropping her first set to defeat Marice Aguiar, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4). Junior Iveta Daujotaite earned a hard-fought victory in two tiebreaks over Seren Agar, 7-6(4), 7-6(4).

“As a team we’ve been working on strategies and fine-tuning these skills, and I think that having the ability to really translate those skills has been really interesting,” You shared.

On the second and third days of the tournament, Harvard faced BU, with mixed outcomes. It was strong in singles performance again, winning six of eight matches. Senior Sophia Ho won an exciting match against the Terriers’ Kaitlin Tan, 6-0, 2-6, 10-6. You defeated Sydney Sharma in a ten-point tiebreaker, 6-2, 5-7, 10-5 before falling to Navya Vadlamudi in a nail-biter, 1-6, 6-2, 10-6.

“My strategy, when it really comes down to the wire, is definitely just to breathe and play my game, remember what we’re working on in training, focus on the basics, and just stay in and play tough,” You explained. “Especially when a lot is on the line, it’s important to just breathe and focus.”

Doubles matches proved to be a toss-up. On Court 3, Owensby and sophomore Holly Fischer fought hard but ultimately fell to Seren Agar and Natalie Eordekian in a tiebreak, 7-6(6). Meanwhile, sophomores Maxi Duncan and Rachel Arbitman had a tough match against the Eagles’ Aguiar and Sophia Edwards, who were able to get the break to win 6-4. The pairing of You and Daujotaite defeated BC’s Hailey Wilcox and Muskan Mahajan on the first day of competition, 6-4, which was the Crimson’s only doubles win against the Eagles. The pair then triumphed over BU’s Sydney Sharma and Steph Nguyen, 6-2, the next day. Junior Sany Gawande partnered with You on the final day of competition to continue the win streak, defeating Vadlamudi and Victoria Carlsten, 7-5.

“I think one of the strengths that [Daujotaite] and [Gawande] and I have is that we play very aggressive doubles,” said You, who was also undefeated in doubles play at the Brown Quad Invite on Oct. 29-31. “It’s a lot of coming in, taking volleys, having a big serve to set up your partner to finish the point at net.”

With the fall season coming to a close, Harvard will shift its focus towards preparing for the spring, which marks a change in match format. In lieu of individual competition, the spring season will feature team-based dual matches.

“Being at home and to just have your family and friends come to watch you play, and also being able to compete next to your teammates is just an unbelievable experience,” You said. “This weekend it was a dual match, so it’s really just giving us a feeling of what the spring is going to feel like.”

Harvard finished the 2021-22 spring season ranked No. 73 with a 3-4 record in Ivy League competition. However, its hopes are higher for the spring after improving doubles performance and bringing Owensby into the fold. The new-look Crimson will restart team matches in early 2023.

–Staff writer Caroline Gage can be reached at

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Women's Tennis