Women's Tennis Looks to Bounce Back Against Syracuse Sunday

Hideko Tachibana is ranked No. 25 nationally in doubles alongside Kristin Norton (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Crimson will try to end a two-match skid and get back to .500 in dual matches when Syracuse visits Cambridge Sunday morning. The match is slated for a 9 a.m. start.

The Crimson, which is playing its second of five consecutive home matches, is led in singles by junior Camille Jania and senior Samantha Gridley, who are each undefeated in individual dual match play this season. The tandem, which has combined for a 3-0 start in doubles play, is a combined 5-0 in singles matches, as Gridley is 3-0 and Jania has won her first two.

Harvard, which is ranked No. 60 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll, has been strong on the doubles side this season. Five of the six tandems that the Crimson has used are .500 or better in 2011-12. Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton have been the most productive duo, as the pair of captains leads the team in wins (9) and winning percentage (9-3, .750). Harvard's top doubles team was ranked tied for No. 25 in the Jan. 3 ITA double rankings.

Last Time Out
A pair of doubles teams provided comeback victories to give the Harvard women's tennis team the early momentum as well as a 1-0 lead, but Boston College excelled in singles play to get past the Crimson, 5-2, Feb. 9 at the Murr Center. Camille Jania and Samantha Gridley dug themselves a 7-3 hole in the eight game pro-set before storming back for the next six games to take a 9-7 win, while No. 25 Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton slipped past No. 11 Alex Kellher and Olga Khmylev, 9-8 (7-3). The Crimson could not hold the momentum from doubles play, as BC took five-of-six individual matches to down Harvard, 5-2.

The Orange (3-3), which plays at Boston College Saturday, visits the Murr Center well traveled after trips to Florida, Texas and Ohio before its voyage to Massachusetts. Syracuse has three convincing 7-0 wins over St. John's, Buffalo and Cincinnati during its travels, but has dropped three other matches, all to teams in the top 60, in the process. The Orange is led by senior Emily Harman, a two-time all-BIG EAST honoree. Harman is off to a 5-1 start in singles play in the No. 1 position.

Up Next
The Crimson takes next week off before challenging Boston University Feb. 24 and Furman Feb. 25 at the Murr Center.