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Cao's Repeat Bid Falls Short in ITA Northeast Quarterfinals

Cao advanced to the quarterfinals of the Northeast Regional Championship before withdrawing (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's tennis player Holly Cao withdrew in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Regional Championship today due to injury. Cao was the tournament's reigning champion.

Cao, ranked third at the tournament, beat Stony Brook's Aylin Mehter, 6-0, 6-2, in her first match of the tournament. In her round of 32 match, Cao downed Jennifer Holzberg of Rutgers in dominant fashion, 6-0, 6-1. Fellow Ivy Leaguer, Elizabeth Epstein of Yale was Cao's next victim, falling by a score of 6-0, 3-6, 6-4. Cao was slated to play against yet another Ivy League foe in Dartmouth's Molly Scott Monday morning before withdrawing due to injury.

Four other Crimson also competed in the tournament's main singles draw. Kristin Norton, ranked ninth, reached the round of 16 beating Rhode Island's Pam Emery, 6-1, 6-4, and Stony Brook's Nini Lagilava, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. Binghamton's Anna Edelman, ranked sixth, defeated Norton 6-0, 6-4.

Samantha Rosekrans defeated Leonie Athanasiadis from Boston University to advance to the round of 32. In her next match, Rosekrans was defeated by Boston College's Alex Kelleher 6-2, 6-0. Natalie Blosser fell in the round of 64 to the second ranked Connie Hsu of Penn, 6-1, 6-2. Hideko Tachibana, ranked seventh, was upset by Ariel Caldwell of Brown in the round of 64, 6-4, 6-3.

In the singles qualifying draw, the Crimson's Hannah Morrill lost her first round match to Dartmouth's Sabrina Stewart, 6-2, 6-2.

Harvard also had three doubles teams compete in the main draw of the tournament. Cao and Rosekrans paired together advancing to the round of 16 after two solid victories. In their first round match, the duo was too much for Dartmouth's Rachel Decker-Sadowski and Georgie Smyser, winning 8-3. In their round of 32 match, the pair overpowered Rocio Portela and Pui Wing Sher of Seton Hall, 8-0. Columbia's team of Nicole Bartnik and Bianca Sanon halted Harvard's run, defeating Cao and Rosekrans 8-5.

Blosser and Morrill were defeated in their first round match by Penn's Alexa and Hsu, 8-4, while Norton and Tachibana lost a first-round heartbreaker to Candynce Boney and Julia Comas of Massachusetts, 8-6.

The Crimson will next be in action on Nov. 5 when they host the Harvard Invitational to end the fall season.