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Women’s Tennis Earns Top 50 Ranking Heading into Spring

Holly Cao is ranked 45th in the first ITA singles poll of the season (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its first rankings of the spring and the Harvard women's tennis team found itself ranked 44th in the nation. Harvard's top singles player, Holly Cao, is also ranked in the top 50 in the singles poll, earning the 45th ranking nationally.

In fall play, the Crimson played to a combined individual record of 39-34 and five Harvard student-athletes boasted individual records above .500. Among those with positive records are Cao (7-2), Samantha Gridley (6-1), Hannah Morrill (4-3), Samantha Rosekrans (5-4) and Hideko Tachibana (5-3). Nine different Crimson doubles pairs played to a combined 18-21 record in fall tournaments.

Harvard's schedule, which kicks off Jan. 22 at home against local rival Boston University, features six matches against opponents ranked higher than the Crimson. Two top 10 teams will square off against Harvard, No. 9 Northwestern at the National Indoor Qualifying tournament in Evanston, Ill. Jan. 29 and No. 10 California March 15. No. 37 Princeton, the only Ivy League team ranked higher than the Crimson, will visit Cambridge April 9.

In the singles poll, Cao's No. 45 ranking is second in the Ivy League only to No. 14 Connie Hsu of Penn. Cao will look to avenge a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Hsu in the finals at the William and Mary Invitational when Penn travels to Harvard April 8. Through all fall tournaments, Cao played to a 7-2 record and advanced to the ITA Northeast Regional quarterfinals before withdrawing due to injury.

Harvard opens up play at home on Jan. 22 against Boston University. Ancient Eight play will kick off April 1 when Harvard makes the trip west to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on Cornell.