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Ivy League Play Begins at Columbia, Cornell for Women's Tennis this Weekend

Hideko Tachibana is 6-0 at top doubles with partner Kristin Norton (OAC). 

Scene Setter
After wrapping up non-conference play Saturday, the Harvard women's tennis team visits Columbia and Cornell to begin Ivy League play this weekend. The Crimson faces the Lions Friday at 2 p.m. before taking on the Big Red at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Last Time Out
The Crimson handled Big East foe Syracuse, 6-1, to snap the Orange's four-game win streak and run its home unbeaten streak to five. The tandem of Kristin Norton and Hideko Tachibana continued its dominant run at the top doubles spot, besting Maddie Kobelt and Brittany Lashway, 8-3, prior to Hannah Morrill and Hai-Li Kong picking up an 8-5 win over Aleah Marrow and Breanna Bachini to earn the doubles point for the sixth consecutive match. In singles play, the Crimson won five of the six matches, led by Norton's 6-0, 6-0 triumph at No. 3 over Jimena Wu. Amanda Lin earned her eighth straight win to improve to 9-1 on the spring, while Kong picked up her fifth consecutive win.

Related Article: Harvard Women's Tennis Cruises Past Syracuse, 6-1

About Harvard

The Crimson enters conference play on a tear, winning six of its last seven matches and five straight at home. The pairing of Kristin Norton and Hideko Tachibana has led to a resurgence in doubles play, as Harvard has won the doubles point in six consecutive matches and in nine of 12 contests on the year. Sylvia Li and Amanda Lin have totaled a 7-2 mark, splitting time between the second and third doubles positions, which has been a pivotal part of the Crimson going 7-2 when earning the doubles point.

In singles play, Amanda Lin is one win away from her 20th of the season, going 9-1 this spring and 10-2 in fall tournament play. Amy He, who is also a freshman, has won eight of her nine matches in the dual season, while Tachibana and Kong each have seven wins. As a team, Harvard is 48-21 this spring in singles and 22-11 in doubles.

Zeroing In
The Crimson has posted four shutouts this season to match its highest total since 2010 when the team also blanked the opposition four times. The Crimson also recorded its first back-to-back shutouts, beating Binghamton and NJIT, for the first time since March 30 and April 2, 2010 when Harvard defeated Fresno State and Columbia, 7-0, in consecutive matches. The program record for shutouts in a season is nine, which came in 1988.

About Columbia (Team Page)
Columbia handed Cornell its first loss of the season, 7-0, in Ithaca, N.Y., to begin Ivy League play March 30 and continue its recent hot streak. The Lions, who dropped their first two matches of the season, have won eight of their last 10 and six of the previous seven to sit at 8-4 overall and ranked No. 56 in the polls. Crystal Leung paces the team with a 10-0 record this spring, including a 4-0 mark at No. 3. Kanika Vaidya leads the team in wins with a 24-4 record and is 8-1 in dual matches playing at the second and third positions. Top singles player Nicole Bartnik is just 4-6 in the dual season, but she is ranked No. 69 in the most recent edition of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls.

In doubles action, Bianca Sanon and Vaidya, ranked No. 38 in the pools, are 6-0 playing exclusively at No. 1. Nine other pairings have split time at No. 2 and No. 3 to help the Lions go 20-8 in doubles action.

Series History vs. the Lions
Harvard has won the last 19 meetings between the two programs to take a commanding 26-1 lead in the all-time series. Columbia's lone win came back in 1993.

About Cornell (Team Page)
After dropping its first match of the season, Cornell fell eight spots in the polls to No. 72. Overall, the Big Red is 11-1 on the year to earn its first national ranking under third-year head coach Mike Stevens. Dena Tanenbaum is 5-0 at No. 5 and 11-1 this spring to top the squad in victories. She's followed by Lauren Frazier and Laila Judeh, who each have 10 wins. Collectively, the Big Red is 58-14 in singles play for an .806 win percentage.

In doubles play, Frazier and Sarah O'Neil are 6-2 playing at the top position, and Christine Ordway and Young are 7-1 at No. 2 to help the Big Red earn the point nine of 12 times this season. Cornell is 24-9 playing doubles for a .727 win percentage this spring.   

Series History vs. the Big Red
Harvard holds a 34-1 advantage in meetings against Cornell, including a current eight-match win streak. The Big Red's lone win came in 2007 in Ithaca.  

Up Next
Harvard returns home for two contests against Princeton and Penn April 13 and 14.