By Jasper Fu
Harvard Women’s Tennis moves on to Ivy conference match at Dartmouth.
By JASPER FU
On a chilly Cambridge Sunday, the Quinnipiac Bobcats faced off against the Harvard Crimson inside Harvard’s Murr Center Tennis courts. Indoors, away from the biting wind of a Boston spring, Harvard’s women’s tennis team declared a resounding victory on Sunday. Coming back from a 4 – 7 deficit since its twin losses on February 24th and 25th to Boston College and Syracuse University, respectively, the Crimson’s women’s tennis has been on a seemingly unstoppable roll, claiming its fourth victory in five games against the Bobcats. With a final score of 6 points to Harvard and 1 point to Quinnipiac, the Crimson will be entering the Ivy League championships against Dartmouth on Saturday with an overall record of 8-8. Quinnipiac, with a record of 8-6, was Harvard’s last non-conference opponent, coming to Cambridge less than a day after a home victory over Niagara.
The match started strong in Harvard’s Murr Center Tennis Courts, with the Crimson sweeping all three doubles matches. Anna Li ‘21 and Annika Ringblom ‘18, of Harvard, defeated Jennifer Lu ’19 and Layla Rodriguez ‘20, of Quinnipiac, in a 6-4 victory in No. 1 doubles, the most close-fought match in doubles competition. No. 2 doubles saw Erica Oosterhout ’19 and Natasha Gonzalez ’20, of Harvard, winning a decisive 6-3 victory against Proyfon Lohaphaisan ‘19 and Dominique Vasile ‘21, matched by No. 3 doubles’ 6-3 victory for Harvard sophomore Neha Gupta ’20 and Jenna Moustafa ’21 against Quinnipiac Peyton Bradley ‘21 and Stephanie Yanosov ‘21.
Harvard also dominated the singles competition, winning five out of six games with its only loss — in No. 6 singles — a close game taken to three sets. Moustafa played again and took the first set in a 6-4 victory but lost the second 2-6, and the tiebreaker 0-1. No. 5 singles saw Harvard Lexi Milunovich ’21 dominate her opponent, running rampant over Quinnipiciac’s Proyfon Lohaphaisan ‘19 in a two 6-1 sets. In No. 4 singles, Quinnipiac’s Layla Rodriguez lost a 6-3, 7-5 decision in one of the closest games of the competition to Harvard’s Gonzalez before Gonzalez won three games in a row, but the rest of the singles matches were emphatic Crimson victories. Ringblom’s perfect two sets over the Bobcat’s Payton Bradley in No. 3 singles, after her victory in No. 1 doubles, were closely followed by Jenna Friedel’s ’20, 6-2 and 6-3 victories in No. 2 singles. In No. 1 singles, Oosterhout cinched a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Vasile, a rematch after both had faced off in No. 2 doubles.
Although Harvard might seem invincible coming off of such a dominant victory, Crimson supporters should be wary with the Ivy League Championships approaching. After next Saturday’s Dartmouth match, Harvard will be facing off against Brown and Yale on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Dartmouth boasts a 7-7 record, almost identical to Harvard’s, after barely losing to No. 2 Pepperdine University. Brown, last year, defeated a struggling Crimson roster 4-1 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Champions.
Harvard enters this year’s Ivy League Championships as the defending champions, having won the 2017 championship in an upset victory, its first such championship since 2009. Though it shared the championship with the Cornell Big Red and Dartmouth Big Green, Harvard’s third of the Cherly and Richard Gouse Trophy still stands as a feat to match this year. In 2017, Harvard took home four All-Ivy awards, tied with Penn’s Quakers and the Big Green: Oosterhout shared dual First Team honoree (singles & doubles) with Dartmouth senior Taylor Ng, and then-team captain and senior June Lee was honored for doubles and singles, for First Team and Second Team, respectively.
Jasper Fu ‘21 ([email protected]) is rooting for the Crimson!