Samantha Gridley 5-3 in singles and 7-1 in doubles during her senior year in Cambridge (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis team will kick off its Ivy League schedule this weekend by hosting Cornell Friday and Columbia Saturday. Friday's match will begin at 2 p.m., while Saturday's contest will start at noon.
The Crimson (7-4, 0-0 Ivy League) has won six of its last seven matches entering Ivy League play. Harvard is led in singles by Camille Jania who is undefeated during the dual match portion of the season. The junior is 7-0 in individual matches, including 5-0 in the No. 3 position and 2-0 at No. 2. Jania has also paired with senior Samantha Gridley to provide Harvard with its most successful doubles tandem. The pair is 7-1 during doubles play while playing in the No. 3 spot. Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton have played at No. 1 doubles throughout the dual season and enter the weekend ranked No. 51 in the nation. Norton and Tachibana have gone 5-4 at No. 1 doubles this year.
Last Time Out
Harvard won two matches in Virginia to conclude its non-conference schedule March 24-25. The Crimson beat William & Mary, 5-2, before taking down Old Dominion, 4-1, in a match that was stopped due to inclement weather. Against ODU, Harvard dropped the doubles point, but quickly rebounded to win all four singles matches that were played to completion. Hideko Tachibana (No. 1), Kristin Norton (No. 2), Camille Jania (No. 3) and Sylvia Li (No. 6) propelled Harvard to victory with individual wins.
Ivy League History
The Crimson has an 18-10 Ivy League record during head coach Traci Green's four-year tenure, including a 4-3 mark last season. Harvard's last Ancient Eight title came in 2005-06 when the Crimson completed its fourth consecutive undefeated conference season. Yale won last year's championship with a 6-1 record.
Cornell (8-5, 0-1 Ivy League) opened up the conference schedule with a 5-2 loss to Columbia last weekend. Ryann Young boasts the best record in singles for the Big Red, as the sophomore brings an 11-1 record to Cambridge. Sarah O'Neil is Cornell's top player and has gone 6-6 during the dual season at the No. 1 singles position.
Harvard leads the all-time series against Cornell, 33-1. The Crimson has won the last seven meetings between the two schools dating back to 2007, including a 7-0 win last season in Ithaca, N.Y.
The Lions (10-3, 1-0 Ivy League) enter the weekend on a five-match winning streak and will face Dartmouth Friday. Junior Katarina Kovacevic has accumulated the most singles wins for Columbia with a 10-3 record, while classmate Nicole Bartnik has gone 8-3 in the No. 1 position. Bartnik and sophomore Iani Alecsiu lead the Lions on the doubles side with eight victories in 11 tries.
The Crimson has a 25-1 advantage in the all-time series against Columbia. Harvard has won 18 straight in the series since 1993, including a 6-1 victory in New York last year.
Harvard continues its Ivy League slate by traveling to Penn and Princeton April 14-15.