Kristin Norton (left) and Hideko Tachibana are 3-0 this fall (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis doubles team of Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton will be competing in the Riviera/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championship Oct. 6-9. The duo will represent the northeast region in the main draw as they were selected as the top returning team from the area.
The All-American doubles main draw, which will be played at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., features 24 doubles teams from around the nation. Twenty sets of partners have been preselected, including 14 of the top 15 doubles teams according to the ITA preseason rankings, while four others will enter through a series of prequalifying and qualifying tournaments. The Harvard juniors were the only twosome selected to the main draw from the Ivy League.
Tachibana and Norton will face Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather of Florida, the No. 12 ranked doubles team in the nation, in the first round. Embree, the reigning NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and NCAA Singles Championships semifinalist, was 28-1 in singles and 28-4 in doubles last season. Mather is an All-SEC second team selection and finished 2010-11 with a singles record of 30-9 and was 31-8 in doubles. Embree and Mather helped the Gators to the NCAA National Championship last season. The winner of the first-round match will face the No. 1 ranked doubles team of Keri Wong and Josipa Bek of Clemson.
The pair enters the All-American with a 3-0 record after sweeping through the Harvard Fall Classic. Norton and Tachibana beat opponents from Long Island, Temple and Massachusetts by a combined score of 24-9 during the three-day event. In the tournament's doubles final, the Crimson handled Yuliana Motyl and Chantal Sqiszcz of UMass, 8-3.
Last season, Norton and Tachibana traveled to the All-American to compete in the prequalifying round. The tandem opened with a win over Krista Damico and Cierra Gayan-Leach of Texas, 8-4, before falling to Valeria Pulido and Alison Ramos of USC, 8-5, in the second prequalifying round.