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Women’s Tennis Opens Spring Slate by Hosting UMass Sunday

Hideko Tachibana was 7-2 in doubles matches this fall alongside fellow captain Kristin Norton (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis team opens the spring season with familiar foe and in-state rival Massachusetts Sunday at the Murr Center.

About Harvard
The Crimson is coming off a successful fall season in which they went 33-22 in individual matches and 18-11 in doubles play over the course of four tournaments. Sylvia Li led the team in singles wins (8-3), while Camille Jania followed (7-3). Kristin Norton (5-1) and Samantha Gridley (5-3) also finished the fall over .500. Norton paired with fellow captain Hideko Tachibana to make up Harvard's winningest doubles tandem (7-2) during the fall.

In The Rankings
The Crimson is ranked No. 63 after debuted at No. 64 in the initial Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings of 2012.

Harvard's Top Pair
After an impressive fall season, Harvard's doubles pair of Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton moved from unranked to No. 25 in the ITA poll. The duo's fall slate was highlighted with an upset of No. 12 Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather of Florida at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Oct. 6. Harvard's combo defeated Embree and Mather, who contributed to Florida's NCAA national championship last season, 8-4.

Protecting the Home Courts
Harvard dominated its own tournament, the Harvard Fall Classic, which included UMass Sept. 18. Kristin Norton won the 'A' flight singles title and joined Hideko Tachibana to take home the 'A' flight doubles championship at the season opening event. Norton defeated Harvard teammate Camille Jania in the singles final to claim the 'A' flight win.

About Massachusetts
UMass, which is coming off a 15-9 season last year, 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 match against Harvard will be UMass' second match after battling Boston College Saturday.

Next Up
Harvard travels to Maryland Feb. 4. The Crimson will play dual matches throughout February and March before starting Ivy League play April 6 against Cornell.