Samantha Gridley won a pair of matches against Boston College Thursday night at the Murr Center (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A pair of doubles teams provided comeback victories to give the Harvard women's tennis team the early momentum as well as a 1-0 lead, but Boston College excelled in singles play to get past the Crimson, 5-2, Thursday night at the Murr Center.
To open the match, Harvard dropped one of the best-of-three matches for the doubles point and fell behind late in the other two matches.
Knowing Harvard needed two victories with two to play, Camille Jania and Samantha Gridley dug themselves a 7-3 hole in the eight game pro-set before storming back for the next five games to take an 8-7 advantage. The tandem, playing in the No. 3 spot, finished off Katarina Gajic and Ina Kauppila from BC, as Gridley hit an overhead winner down the right side to take the match, 9-7, in the extra game.
Minutes later, at No. 1 doubles, No. 25 Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton secured another win in extra time as a Norton backhand to the middle of the court forced BC's return into the center of the net. Harvard's top duo trailed by 3-1, 4-2 and 6-4 scores before charging to the 9-8 (7-3) victory over 11th-ranked Alex Kelleher and Olga Khmylev.
The Crimson kept close with the Eagles during singles action, forcing two deciding third sets and dropping another match with two set tiebreaker losses, but could not get the necessary split in singles matches to win the match.
BC won 5-of-6 matches in singles, as Samantha Gridley was the lone Harvard player to notch an individual victory. Gridley fought past Olga Khmylev, 7-6, 6-3.
Harvard hosts Syracuse at the Murr Center Sunday morning. The match is slated for a 9 a.m. start.
Doubles (2-1 Harvard)
No. 1 Kristin Norton/Hideko Tachibana (H) def. Alex Kelleher/Olga Khmylev (BC), 9-8 (7-3)
No. 2 Erina Kikuchi/Jessica Wacnik (BC) def. Hannah Morrill/Kelly Whelan (H), 8-6
No. 3 Camille Jania/Samantha Gridley (H) def. Katarina Gajic/Ina Kauppila (BC), 9-7
Singles (5-1 BC)
No. 1 Jessica Wacnik (BC) def. Hideko Tachibana (H) 7-5, 7-6
No. 2 Erina Kikuchi (BC) def. Kristin Norton (H) 6-3, 6-0
No. 3 Alex Kelleher (BC) def. Natalie Blosser (H) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
No. 4 Samantha Gridley (H)def. Olga Khmylev (BC) 7-6, 6-3
No. 5 Katarina Gajic (BC) def. Hannah Morrill (H) 7-6, 3-6, 6-2
No. 6 Kelly Barry (BC) def. Sylvia Li (H) 6-2, 6-1