ACC Foe Maryland Visits No. 74 Women's Tennis Saturday

ACC Foe Maryland Visits No. 74 Women's Tennis Saturday

Natalie Blosser has made two appearances for the Crimson this spring (Harvard Athletic Communications). 

Scene Setter
Harvard women's tennis looks to bounce back from a pair of setbacks, as it takes on Atlantic Coast Conference member Maryland Saturday afternoon inside the Murr Center.

Last Time Out
The Crimson suffered a pair of 5-2 losses at the hands of William & Mary and No. 64 Kansas State over the weekend. In the weekend opener against the Tribe, Harvard earned the doubles point behind wins from the No. 3 tandem of Hideko Tachibana and Hannah Morrill and the No. 2 duo of Sylvia Li and Amanda Lin, while Crystal Yen earned the lone singles point at the No. 6 position. On Sunday, Lin and Amy He earned singles wins, as the Crimson fell to the Wildcats in the first meeting between the two programs.

Related Article: He, Lin Earn Singles Wins But Women's Tennis Drops 5-2 Decision to No. 64 Kansas State
Related Article: William & Mary Rallies Past Women's Tennis, 5-2

About Harvard
The Crimson is 1-2 in the spring season with its win coming against Cleveland State in the 2013 opener, 7-0, inside the Murr Center. Amy He has a perfect 2-0 mark in dual matches, while Amanda Lin and Crystal Yen are both 2-1. Senior co-captains Hideko Tachibana (1-1) and Kristin Norton (1-2) hold down the top two spots in the lineup, while three freshmen and a sophomore have seen time in the lineup this season. In doubles play, Amy He and Kristin Norton sit at 4-2, while Amanda Lin and Sylvia Li have played the last two matches at No. 2 going 1-1. 

Fantastic Four
The Crimson's quartet of freshmen has made an immediate impact on the team. Amanda Lin leads the team with a 12-3 record and has partnered with Hideko Tachibana (1-0) and Sylvia Li (1-1) in doubles play. Rookie Amy He has teamed with Kristin Norton on Harvard's No. 2 doubles team, winning the Crimson Doubles Flight at the Harvard Fall Invitational, and He is 2-0 in singles play this spring. Crystal Yen is second on the team with 10 wins, and Hai-Li Kong is third with eight to give the class of 2016 the three highest win totals on the squad.

The Crimson posted its first shutout in a season opener since the 2010 spring when Harvard shutout Boston University, 7-0, inside the Murr Center. Overall, the Crimson has recorded 13 season-opening shutouts in the history of the program.

Moving On Up 
After coming in at No. 74 in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women's Team Rankings, Harvard moved up to No. 73 after its impressive opening win before going back to No. 74 in this week's edition. Yale continues to lead the ranked Ancient Eight teams, moving up to No. 24 in the most recent edition. Brown (No. 67) and Princeton (No. 71) both dropped a few spots, while Columbia stayed at No.70 to round out the Ivy schools in the rankings.

Home, Sweet Home
Harvard will play 15 of its 20 matches at home this spring, including the first nine matches of the season. The Crimson hosts Commonwealth rivals Massachusetts (Feb. 9), Boston College (Feb. 23) and Boston University (March 1) and Ivy League foes Penn (April 13), Princeton (April 14), Yale (April 21) and Dartmouth (April 27) among the 20-match schedule.

Harvard's five road contests consist of trips to Florida to play Stetson (March 19) and South Florida (March 20), New York to take on Cornell (April 5) and Columbia (April 6) and Rhode Island to battle Brown (April 19).

About Maryland (Team Page)
The Terrapins enter the weekend with a 2-0 mark and will take on Boston College Friday night. Like the Crimson, Maryland blanked its opponent, Howard, 7-0 in its season opener; however, the Terps also shutout UMBC in their only other match to date. Maryland is also one of the youngest teams in the country with five freshmen and just one junior and one senior on the squad. No. 1 Vroni Van Berlo is the lone senior on the squad, while the other five positions are filled by the rookies.

Series History vs. the Terrapins
The all-time series is tied at two. Harvard won the first two meetings, besting Maryland, 5-4, April 13, 1997, before recording a 4-0 win May 13, 2005. The Terrapins evened up the mark the past two seasons, besting Harvard, 6-1, Feb. 13, 2011, and 4-3 Feb. 4, 2012.

Captains of the Ship
Seniors Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton return as co-captains for their final campaign in Cambridge. Tachibana finished 6-2 in singles in the fall, while Norton went 4-1. The pair also teamed up and took second in the 'A' doubles flight at the Columbia Invitational before falling in the opening round of the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championship.

In the spring, Tachibana is 1-1 in singles play and 2-0 in doubles play, while Norton is 1-2 in both singles and doubles action.

Back Again
In addition to the two captains, Harvard brings back three other members from last year's squad that went 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy League. Hannah Morril and Natalie Blosser both return for their junior seasons, while Sylvia Li is the lone second year on the squad. The coaching staff also returns head coach Traci Green for her sixth season with the Crimson and her assistants are Pavle Jefferson and Debbie Goldfine.

Fresh Faces
The tennis squad welcomed in a quartet of freshman for the 2012-13 season. Amy He, Hai Li Kong, Amanda Lin and Crystal Yen all joined the squad prior to the start of the fall campaign. Lin won the 'C' flight at the Columbia Invitational, besting teammate Sylvia Li, 6-4, 7-5, and she teamed with Li to take the Katrina Guenther Doubles Flight at the Tribe Invitational. Kong won the Cherle Dow Singles Flight at the Tribe Invitational to up the total number of tournament titles for the class of 2016 to three. Overall, the group has combined to go 36-15 in singles play in its inaugural season of intercollegiate competition.

Up Next
The Crimson hosts Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo and in-state rival UMass Feb. 9 inside the Murr Center.