Women's Tennis Rallies Before Falling Just Short Against Columbia, 4-3

Women's Tennis Rallies Before Falling Just Short Against Columbia, 4-3

Amanda Lin earned a three-set win for the Crimson Friday afternon (OAC). 

NEW YORK – The Harvard women's tennis came up just short in its attempt to rally past Columbia, falling to the Lions, 4-3, Friday afternoon at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center Friday afternoon.

The Crimson (8-5) fell behind 3-0 before rallying to tie the match at three with one match remaining; however, Columbia was able to regroup to edge Harvard for just the second time in program history. Hai-Li Kong, Sylvia Li and Amanda Lin all earned singles victories for the Crimson, who lost for just the second time in its last eight outings.

To begin the afternoon, Harvard did not win the double point for the first time in seven matches, as the Lions were able to get off to a quick start.

Nicole Bartnik and Crystal Leung topped Amanda Lin and Sylvia Li, 8-3, at second doubles, while Biana Sanon and Kanika Vaidya edged Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton, 8-5, at No. 1 to defeat the pair for the first time this spring and give Columbia the doubles point.

In singles play, Columbia earned victories at No. 3 and No. 1 to take a commanding 3-0 lead; however, Harvard responded by winning the next three matches to even up the score.

Kong started the comeback charge for the Crimson. She seesawed back and forth with Leung in the opening set. She fell behind on three separate occasions, including 6-5, before winning the final two games to take the first set 7-6. In the second, Leung took a 3-0 advantage before Kong won five of the next six games to take a 5-4 advantage. The two traded games from there, and Kong won the tiebreak to earn a 7-6 win in the second, as well.

Sylvia Li followed by prevailing over Tiana Takenaga in three sets to inch Harvard closer. She dropped the first, 6-2, and trailed 3-2 in the second prior to winning the final four games to even up the match at one. In the third, she jumped out to an early lead, 4-1, but saw Takenaga tie it at five. She proceeded to take the next two games to earn the win and keep the Crimson's hopes of a victory in its Ivy League opener alive.

At No. 6, Amanda Lin also mounted a comeback, rallying past Iona Alecsiu to even up the match. After losing the first set, 6-3, she trailed 6-5 in the second before winning the game and the tiebreak to force a third and deciding set, which she took a 4-1 advantage in through the first five games. However, Alecsiu won four of the next five to even up the score. Lin then took the last two games to earn a 7-5 win.

As Lin clinched her victory, Amy He forced a tiebreaker at No. 2 singles to continue the improbable run, but it was not meant to be, as she fell in the tiebreak 7-4 to fall in the match, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6.

Harvard will look to rebound when it travels to Cornell tomorrow for a 2 p.m. showdown with the Big Red.

No. 1 - Bianca Sanon/Vaidya (C) def. Hideko Tachibana/Kristin Norton (H), 8-5
No. 2 - Nicole Bartnik/Crystal Leung (C) def. Amanda Lin/Sylvia Li (H), 8-3
No. 3 - Tiana Takenaga/Iona Alecsiu vs. Hannah Morrill/Hai-Li Kong (HARV), 6-3, unfinished

No. 1 - Nicole Bartnik (C) def. Hideko Tachibana (H), 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 - Bianca Sanon (C) def. Amy He (H), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (3)
No. 3 - Kanika Vaidya (C) def. Kristin Norton (H), 7-6 (5), 6-3
No. 4 - Hai-Li Kong (H) def. Crystal Leung (C), 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3)
No. 5 - Sylvia Li (H) def. Tiana Takenaga (C), 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
No. 6 - Amanda Lin (H) def. Ioana Alecsiu (C), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5