The Harvard women's tennis team will open the season on its home courts (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Crimson opens the 2011 fall schedule with the Harvard Fall Classic at the Beren Tennis Center (Murr Center Tennis Courts in case of rain) Sept. 16-18. Harvard welcomes teams from Boston University, Long Island, Massachusetts, Middlebury and Temple for the three-day tournament.
The Harvard women's tennis team has high expectations for the 2011-12 season as three All-Ivy performers return to the squad. Senior Holly Cao was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League singles first-team, while juniors Kristin Norton and Hideko Tachibana were unanimously selected to the All-Ivy doubles first-team. Tachibana was also selected to the All-Ivy singles second-team.
The Terriers completed 2010-11 with a perfect home dual record of 7-0 but went only 1-7 on the road and finished 12-9 overall. Boston University welcomes a two-member recruiting class of Sami Lieb and Sophie Wyman that ranked 11th in the annual TennisRecruiting.net mid-major poll.
Harvard defeated Boston University, 5-2, in a dual match last January.
Long Island returns its top two singles players, who also accounted for the Black Birds' No. 1 doubles team, from a team that finished 4-11 last year. Juniors Taysha Blessington and Aleksandra Pavlovic combined to go 4-10 in the No. 1 singles spot, 4-8 as No. 2 singles and 8-7 as the No. 1 doubles team a year ago.
After a 15-9 season last year, the Minutewomen have a solid foundation to build on. UMass returns freshman all-conference performer Yuliana Motyl as well as second team all-conference selection Julia Comas. Motyl finished her first collegiate season 5-10 in the No. 1 position and 3-1 at No. 2.
The Panthers reached the final 16 of the 2011 Division III tournament last spring. Middlebury is led by two returners, No. 5 Victoria Aiello and No. 15 Leah Kepping, who finished in the final ITA Division III Northeast singles rankings a year ago.
Temple returns three letterwinners who contributed to the Owls third-place finish at the Atlantic-10 championships last spring. Sophomore Yana Mavrina saw action at No. 2 and No. 3 singles primarily, and received second-team all A-10 honors. Jordan Batey, who went undefeated in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots a year ago, returns after posting an impressive 23-5 singles record as a freshman.
Harvard will take two weeks off from tournament play before competing in the ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships Oct. 1-9. The All-American will be held at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.