Women's Tennis Opens Ivy League Play With 6-1 Win Over Cornell

Camille Jania clinched the match against Cornell Friday afternoon (photo Christopher M. Hill).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard women's tennis team opened up the Ivy League schedule with a 6-1 defeat of Cornell at Beren Tennis Center. The win was Harvard's 34th all-time victory over the Big Red in 35 tries.

Cornell took a lead in the race to two doubles wins with a victory at No. 2. The Big Red's Christine Ordway and Ryann Young beat Harvard's Kristin Norton and Hannah Morrill, 8-3.

Harvard quickly evened Cornell's tally with a win of its own at No. 3. Samantha Gridley and Camille Jania continued their impressive mark this spring with a victory over Rosemary Li and Gabby Sullivan, 8-6. The Crimson's duo is 8-1 during the dual portion of the 2011-12 season.

The match turned over to the No. 1's where Hideko Tachibana and Kelly Whelan held a slim 5-4 lead. The contest stayed tight, as the score was tied at five, six, seven and eight before the duos entered a tiebreaker. Playing to seven, Harvard built a commanding 5-1 lead, but Cornell scored four of the next five points to make the score 6-5. At match point, Tachibana blasted a shot to the feet of a Cornell player that could not be returned to give the Crimson the doubles point.

It didn't take long for Harvard to clinch the match in singles play. The Crimson won five of the six matches, including three of the first four, to secure the victory. 

Tachibana was the first to finish with an easy win over Sarah O'Neil at No. 1. Harvard's ace took the contest in two sets, 6-1, 6-0. 

Kristin Norton was the next to record a victory with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Ryann Young at No. 2. With the Crimson up 3-1 and a point away from victory, Camille Jania finished off the Big Red in a second set tiebreak. Jania took down Ordway, 6-1, 7-6 (6). 

Samantha Gridley (No. 6) and Hannah Morrill (No. 5) also recorded wins for the Crimson during singles play. Gridley swept Frazier, 7-6 (6), 7-5, and Morrill knocked off Courtney Malinchak, 7-5, 7-5.

Harvard continues Ivy League action tomorrow by hosting Columbia at noon. 

Doubles (2-1 Harvard)
1. Tachibana/Whelan (H) def. O'Neil/Frazier (C) 9-8(5)
2. Ordway/Young (C) def. Norton/Morrill (H) 8-3
3. Gridley/Jania (H) def. Li/Sullivan (C) 8-6

Singles (5-1 Harvard)
1. Hideko Tachibana (H) def. Sarah O'Neil (C) 6-1, 6-0
2. Kristin Norton (H) def. Ryann Young (C) 6-1, 6-3
3. Camille Jania (H) def. Christine Ordway (C) 6-1, 7-6(6)
4. Gabby Sullivan (C) def. Natalie Blosser (H) 6-1, 6-2
5. Samantha Gridley (H) def. Lauren Frazier (C) 7-6(6), 7-5
6. Hannah Morrill (H) def. Courtney Malinchak (C) 7-5, 7-5