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Dual Season Begins for Women's Tennis at ITA Kick-Off Weekend

Morill has won five straight singles matches (photo courtesy Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis team will be back in action this weekend as it competes at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Gainesville, Fla. The Crimson will first take the court at the Ring Tennis Complex at Linder Stadium Saturday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. against Missouri and will then face either No. 2 Florida or Louisville, Sunday, Jan. 26.

Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, six of Harvard's nine home matches will be streamed in HD quality through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all Harvard athletic events through the duration of their subscription.

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Last Time Out
Hannah Morrill paced Harvard over three days at the Adidas Winter Invitational at Indiana to open its 2014 spring slate.

Morrill started the spring right where she left things in the fall, downing each of her singles competitors, including a ranked opponent for a 2-0 record. The Crimson saw six players go 1-1 in singles play as June Lee, Sylvia Li and Danielle Mirda notched wins on day one of competition while Spencer Liang and Amanda Lin tallied victories on the second day of the invite.

On the doubles court, Harvard had each of its doubles teams earn victories. Morrill teamed up with Monica Lin for a team best 2-1 record in doubles play.

Related Link: Morrill Paces No. 68 Women's Tennis at Adidas Winter Invitational

In the Rankings
After the Adidas Winter Invitational, Harvard moved up a spot to No. 67 in the ITA College Tennis Rankings. The Crimson squad debuted at No. 68 in the initial national rankings on Jan. 2. Freshman duo Spencer Liang and Monica Lin represent the Crimson on the doubles list at No. 34. 

Week           ITA
Jan. 2           68
Jan. 21           67


Related Link: ITA Rankings

2014 Kicks Off
The ITA Kick-Off Weekend features 15 men's and 15 women's host sites with four teams at each site vying to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The 15 women's teams to win both matches during ITA Kick-Off Weekend will advance to the 2014 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships, hosted by Virginia at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 7-10.

Opening Act
Harvard has won 17 of the last 20 season openers, including five straight, to hold an impressive 31-7 record (.816) in the first match of the season. Under current head coach Traci Green, the Crimson is 4-2 on opening day.

Fantastic Freshman Foursome
According to TennisRecruiting.net, head coach Traci Green welcomed the fourth best recruiting class in the nation to Cambridge this year. The quartet has competed to its potential, as the rookies have accumulated 34 singles victories, which is .586 (34-58) of the Crimson's wins. On the singles court, Monica Lin leads the four-pack with a 12-4 record.

Morrill Just Keeps Winning
In singles action, Hannah Morrill has downed her past five opponents to ride a five-match singles winning streak into the weekend. The senior went unbeaten (3-0) at the Harvard Invitational to end the fall season and opened the spring with a 2-0 showing at the Adidas Invitational to sit 8-4 overall.

Experimental Scoring
For January and February of 2014, the ITA has implemented new scoring rules. Dual matches will consist of three doubles matches played to six and six singles matches that use best of three set scoring with super-tiebreakers for all third sets. Teams earn a single point for winning two of the three doubles matches and a point for every singles match won. The team that tallies four points wins the dual.

Scouting Missouri
In a double-header season opener Jan. 20, Missouri downed Saint Louis, 6-1, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 6-1, to carry a 2-0 record into the weekend. The Tigers clinched doubles points in each dual propelled by two straight set victories by No. 1 duo Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Cassidy Spearman. On the singles court, four Mizzou boast unbeaten 2-0 marks including Kelli Hine who ranks 83 on the ITA's singles list.

The Series with the Tigers
Saturday's dual marks the first meeting between Harvard and Missouri.

Scouting No. 2 Florida
The second-ranked Gators launch its dual schedule after closing out the 2013 spring season with its fourth consecutive SEC championship crown and a 12-1 conference mark and 26-3 overall record. Florida returns four players from a year ago, including All-SEC first team selection Olivia Janowicz. Janowicz posted a 37-6 overall record last year and is one of seven Gators currently seeded on the singles ITA national poll as the senior comes in at No. 17.  

The Series with the Gators
In 1987, Florida downed Harvard, 8-1, at the NCAA Tournament in Los Angeles, Calif., to own the lone victory in the series.

Scouting Louisville
Louisville, which is coming off a 17-9 season, returns All-Big East performers juniors Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine. Fellerhoff finished her third collegiate season 7-7 in the No. 1 position while Shine posted a 2-3 record at the top spot and 12-3 at No. 2.   

The Series with the Cardinals
Harvard and Louisville will meet for the first time.

What's Next
The Crimson welcomes Massachusetts to the Murr Center, Feb. 1.