Camille Jania is 2-0 in singles and doubles play during dual matches in 2012 (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis team plays its lone weeknight match of the season Thursday, when rival Boston College visits the Murr Center. The contest is slated for a 5 p.m. start.
The Crimson, which is playing its first of five consecutive home matches, is led by junior Camille Jania and senior Samantha Gridley, who are each 2-0 in dual match play this season and have combined for a 2-0 start in doubles play. Gridley has accumulated a 7-3 overall singles record, while Jania is tied for the team lead in wins with a 9-3 record. Sylvia Li (9-4) also has won nine singles matches.
Harvard, which is ranked No. 60 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll, has been strong on the doubles side this season. Five of the six tandems that the Crimson has used are .500 or better in 2011-12. Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton have been the most productive duo, as the pair of captains leads the team in wins (8) and winning percentage (8-3, .727). Harvard's top doubles team was ranked tied for No. 25 in the Jan. 3 ITA double rankings.
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Jania, Gridley and Hannah Morrill led Harvard to a 3-3 split in singles play, but the Crimson dropped two of three doubles contests and fell, 4-3, to Maryland Feb. 4. Harvard built a 2-1 lead early in the match but Maryland, which is ranked No. 40 in the latest ITA rankings, followed with three straight victories of its own to secure the match.
The Eagles returned five letterwinners from the 2010-11 squad which finished 9-14 overall and 3-8 in the ACC. Boston College is led by freshman Jessica Wacnik, who enters with a 14-3 singles record and 13-4 mark in doubles play alongside senior Erina Kikuchi. Other than Wacnik's 27-7 (.794) record this season, Kikuchi has the highest career winning percentage for BC, taking 62-percent (71-44) of her matches. The Eagles are ranked No. 55 in the Feb. 2 ITA poll.
Harvard leads the all-time series against the Eagles, 30-8, including a 5-2 win at the Murr Center last season.
The Crimson continues its stretch of five straight home matches with Syracuse (Feb. 12), Boston University (Feb. 24), Furman (Feb. 25) and St. John's (March 10) before traveling to Orlando, Fla. during spring break.