Women’s Tennis Finishes Regular Season in Second; Falls in Heartbreaker to No. 44 Columbia, 4-2

Photo: Gil Talbot
Photo: Gil Talbot

NEW YORK – The Harvard women's tennis team (17-7, 5-2 Ivy) closed out the regular season dropping its final contest to No. 44 Columbia (15-4, 4-3 Ivy), 4-2, Sunday, in a match that came down to the very end.

The Crimson began doubles play battling past the Lions to earn the doubles point. Senior Erica Oosterhout and junior Natasha Gonzalez fought past Paulina Ferrari and Akanksha Bhan, 7-6, as the team's top doubles pairing. First-year Rachel Lim and junior Jenna Friedel followed suit, edging Christie Wan and Andrea Kevakian, 7-5.

Columbia would come back in singles play, picking up a trio of victories, despite strong battle from the Crimson. First-year Rachel Eason grinded her way back from dropping the first set to defeat Kevakian, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The contest would come down to the final two matches that remained. Gonzalez and junior Irene Lu both battled back from dropping each of their first sets, as both won their second sets to keep Harvard's hopes alive. Both, ultimately, came up short

Harvard Highlights:

  • The Crimson finish the regular season in second place in the Ivy League for the second-straight season. The team has finished in the top-two in the standings three-consecutive seasons.
  • Harvard finishes the regular season with 17 wins, tying its total from the 2016-17 season, which is the highest win total since the 2004-05 campaign.
  • Despite dropping today's matches, Friedel and Gonzalez both finish with a team-leading 14 wins a piece.
  • Lu ends the regular season with a seven-match win streak, after her match was suspended after the clinching point.
  • The team ends the season winning nine of its final 11 matches to finish with a 17-7 record.

S1: Jennifer Kerr def. Erica Oosterhout 7-6(7), 6-3
S2: Akanksha Bhan def. Jenna Friedel 6-4, 6-3
S3: Christie Wan def. Rachel Lim 7-5, 6-3
S4: Melissa Sakar def. Natasha Gonzalez 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
S5: Rachel Eason def. Andrea Kevakian 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
S6: Irene Lu vs. Sarah Hu Unfinished 
D1: Erica Oosterhout / Natasha Gonzalez def. Paulina Ferrari / Akanksha Bhan 7-6(8)
D2: Rachel Lim / Jenna Friedel def. Andrea Kevakian / Christie Wan 7-5
D3: Sarah Hu / Jennifer Kerr def. Anna Li / Isabel Jasper 6-3