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Norton Wins Two as Harvard is Eliminated at ITA/Riviera

Kristen Norton (pictured) won a singles and doubles match before being eliminated (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis team was in action this weekend as four Crimson players competed in the pre-qualifying draw of the ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Natalie Blosser and Hannah Morrill comprised one of Harvard's two doubles teams. Kristen Norton and Hideko Tachibana made up the Crimson's second pair while also competing individually in the singles tournament. Norton registered two victories for Harvard, one in each singles and doubles. In Saturday morning action, Norton recovered after losing the first set to defeat Kaltrina Harbuzi of Lamar, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. That victory followed Norton and Tachibana's 8-4 doubles victory over Krista Damico and Cierra Gaytan-Leach from Texas.

Harvard unfortunately could not build on the early momentum and would be eliminated from the pre-qualifying draw following four losses. Norton and Tachibana would fall in singles Saturday to a pair of players from Florida. Sofie Oyen defeated Norton, 6-3, 6-4, while Alex Cercone beat Tachibana, 6-4, 7-6(2). In doubles, Southern California's Valeria Pulido and Alison Ramos downed the pair 8-5. Harvard's other doubles tandem of Blosser and Morrill faced stiff competition in their 8-1 loss to Pepperdine's Ali Walters and Khunpak Issara.

The ITA/Riviera Women's All-American will continue on Tuesday when the qualifying draw begins play. Holly Cao and Samantha Rosekrans will represent the Crimson in doubles action while Cao will also compete in the singles bracket. Each will need three consecutive victories to advance to the main draw of the tournament that will take place Oct. 7-10 at the Riviera Tennis Club.