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Tiebreakers Push Syracuse Past Harvard Women's Tennis

Kristin Norton won a match at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles Sunday morning against Syracuse (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's tennis team nearly defeated the Orange while clinging to a 3-2 lead, but a pair of third-set tiebreakers went Syracuse's way to knock off the Crimson Sunday morning at the Murr Center.

Harvard started the match strong, taking two-of-three doubles contests to gain a 1-0 advantage.

Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton, who are ranked No. 25 in the nation among doubles teams, slipped past Emily Harman and Breanna Bachini, 9-7 and Hannah Morrill and Kelly Whelan took down Maddie Kobelt and Aleah Marrow of Syracuse, 8-6.

The Crimson moved to within one point of victory, 3-2, after splitting the first four matches to finish. Harvard's victories came at No. 2, where Norton trumped Kobelt, 6-2, 6-3, and No. 3, as Camille Jania dominated Komal Safdar. Jania was flawless in her match, winning by 6-0 tallies in each set.

With the match on the line, the singles sets became equally close. The Crimson challenged the Orange, as Harvard's No. 5 and No. 6 saw their matches extend to three sets before ultimately falling in each.

Sam Gridley pushed her match to a deciding set with a 7-5 win in the second, after dropping the first set, 6-2, before Alessondra Parra of Syracuse barely pulled out a victory in the third frame, 7-6 (5).

Hannah Morrill fell in similar fashion, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (1), at No. 6.

Harvard takes two weeks off before facing cross-town rival Boston University Feb. 24 at the Murr Center.

Results
Doubles
1. Tachibana/Norton (H) def. Harman/Bachini (S), 9-7
2. Morrill/Whelan (H) def. Kobelt/Marrow (S), 8-6
3. Parra/Safdar (S) def. Gridley/Jania (H) 9-7 

Singles
1. Harman (S) def. Tachibana (H) 6-2, 6-1
2. Norton (H) def. Kobelt (S) 6-2, 6-3
3. Jania (H) def. Safdar (S) 6-0, 6-0
4. Bachini (S) def. Blosser (H) 6-2, 6-4
5. Parra (S) def. Gridley (H) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(5)
6. Rodgers (S) def. Morrill (H) 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(1)