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William & Mary Rallies Past Women's Tennis, 5-2

Crystal Yen improved to 2-0 Friday afternoon (Harvard Athletic Communications). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard women's tennis team hung with William & Mary but came up just short in several matches to fall to the Tribe, 5-2, Friday afternoon inside the Murr Center.

The Crimson earned the doubles point, and Crystal Yen picked up a win at No. 6 to account for both of Harvard's points. Harvard now sits at 1-1 on the year. 

Harvard began the afternoon on a high note, rallying to win the doubles point to take an early lead over the Tribe.

The Crimson dropped the top doubles spot, 8-0, necessitating wins at the other two positions to earn the point.

At No. 3, Hideko Tachibana and Hannah Morrill appeared to be in control, leading 6-2. However, the Tribe pairing of  Leeza Nemchinov and Hope Johnson won four consecutive games to tie up the match at 6. The Crimson duo responded, serving to go up 7-6 before closing out the match by breaking serve.

This left Amanda Lin and Sylvia Li battling with Anik Cepeda and Sydney Smith in the decisive match. Lin and Li jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Cepeda and Smith took the next three games to even the score. Harvard reclaimed the lead at 4-3 before the Tribe pairing took the next two games to take a 5-4 advantage. With momentum heavily in the Tribe's favor, Harvard rattled off three consecutive wins, holding serve twice to take a 7-5 lead. After the green and gold drew within 7-6, Li took the serve for the Crimson and had three of her serves returned into the net to lock up the match win and point for the Crimson.

It appeared as though the momentum had shifted in Harvard's favor following the come-from-behind win in doubles, but it was short lived as the two teams went back and forth once singles play began.

Initially, Yen was the only player to take a lead as the other five courts traded games, winning the first set 6-0 over Sydney Smith. The freshman prevailed in the second set, 6-3, to improve to 2-0 on the season.

However, William & Mary started to distance itself from the Crimson, going on to win the other five first sets before doing the same in the second set to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Harvard returns to action Sunday morning at 11 a.m. when Kansas State visits the Murr Center for the first time.

Doubles Results
No. 1 Maria Belaya/Jeltje Loomans (W) def Kristin Norton/Amy He (H) 8-0
No. 2 Amanda Lin/Sylvia Li (H) def Hope Johnson/Leeza Nemchinov (W) 8-6
No. 3 Hannah Morrill/Hideko Tachibana (H) def Anik Cepeda/Sydney Smith (W) 8-6

Single Results
No. 1 Maria Belaya (W) def Hideko Tachibana (H) 6-3, 6-3
No. 2 Jeltje Loomans (W) def Kristin Norton (H) 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 Leeza Nemchinov (W) def Amanda Lin (H) 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 Hope Johnson (W) def Sylvia Li (H) 7-6(4), 6-2
No. 5 Anik Cepeda (W) def Natalie Blosser (H) 6-3, 7-5
No. 6 Crystal Yen (H) def Sydney Smith (W) 6-0, 6-3