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Women's Tennis Hits the Road to Face Stetson and South Florida in the Sunshine State

Hideko Tachibana heads to Florida on a three-match win streak at No. 1 (OAC). 

Scene Setter
The Harvard women's tennis team hits the road for the first time this season and pays a visit to the Sunshine State to face Stetson and South Florida Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Last Time Out
The Crimson recorded its second consecutive shutout and third of the season, defeating NJIT, 7-0, Friday at the Murr Center Tennis Courts. In doubles action, the top tandem of Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton blanked Ksenia Kuzmenko and Jana Luste, 8-0, while Sylvia Li and Amanda Lin rallied from a 5-4 deficit to top Natalia Melibeu and Carolina Zanotta, 8-6, at No. 3. In singles play, five of the six matches were decided in straight sets. Lin lost just one game to defeat Zanotta again, 6-1, 6-0, at the No. 6 position, while No. 3 Kristin Norton knocked off Martina Tripcovici, 6-0, 6-2.

Related Article: Women's Tennis Blanks NJIT, 7-0, To Extend Win Streak to Three

About Harvard
The Crimson concluded its eight-game homestand to begin the regular season with a 5-3 mark, including a three-match winning streak to end it. Amy He is one of four members of the freshman class that has turned in tremendous spring seasons thus far. He paces the team with a 6-0 mark, including a 4-0 record at No. 2, while classmates Amanda Lin (5-1), Hai-Li Kong (3-2) and Crystal Yen (3-2) all have winning records. Senior co-captain Hideko Tachibana has won her last three matches to improve to 5-2 on the spring, while fellow captain Kristin Norton is 3-2 in the spring and 7-3 overall.

In doubles action, Sylvia Li and Lin have combined to form Harvard's most successful tandem. The pair is 4-1 in the spring and 12-2 overall. Captains Tachibana and Norton have been reunited as the top pairing and have gone 2-0 this spring.

In the dual season, the Crimson is 31-14 in singles play and 13-8 in doubles action.

Zeroing In
In its last two wins over Binghamton and NJIT, Harvard posted consecutive shutouts for the first time since 2010 when the Crimson blanked Fresno State and Columbia March 30 and April 2, respectively. Overall, Harvard has not allowed a point to three opponents this season, topping Cleveland State by a 7-0 margin in the season opener. It is the most shutouts since 2010 when the team had four, while the program record for shutouts in a season came in 1988 when the team had nine.

About Stetson (Team Page)
After going through a midseason slump and dropping three consecutive matches, the Hatters have rebounded with four straight victories, including three straight shutouts, heading into their matchup with the Crimson. Diana Bukajeva leads the team with an unblemished 10-0 campaign, including a 7-0 spot at No. 3. Jen Miller has been nearly as impressive, going 9-1 with a 7-0 mark at No. 5. Andrea Crespo has served as the team's top singles player with a 6-2 record thus far in the spring. Overall, Stetson is 47-19 in singles play for a .719 win percentage.

Lindsey Cable and Eveline Lepinay have won their last three matches to raise their dual season record to 9-1. Two pairings have received time in the top spot, and three different tandems have seen time at No. 2 to help the Hatters compile a 21-11 doubles record.

Series History vs. the Hatters
This will be the first ever meeting between the Crimson and the Hatters.

About South Florida (Team Page)
The Bulls have reeled off three straight victories entering their matchup with Cincinnati Tuesday afternoon before hosting the Crimson Wednesday. USF has topped Georgia State, Miami (Ohio) and Wake Forest in the last week to improve to 7-5 on the year. Danielle Mills leads the team with an 8-3 mark, playing primarily out of the No. 3 position, while Fanny Fracassi tops the squad in wins with a 9-5 record.

In doubles play, Kayla Rizzolo and Mills have partnered up to go 5-2 in doubles play, and Loreta Alonso and Katie Vasenina are 7-3 out of the No. 2 position. The final pairing of Fracassi and Paula Montoya is just 4-5 this spring.  

Series History vs. the Bulls
Harvard and South Florida have split the two previous meetings between the programs. The Crimson took the first meeting, 7-0, Jan. 28, 2003, while the Bulls won the second, 5-2, March 8, 2010.

Up Next
Harvard returns home to face Fairleigh Dickinson March 23 at 1 p.m.