Harvard Women's Tennis Entertains William & Mary, Kansas State This Weekend

Harvard Women's Tennis Entertains William & Mary, Kansas State This Weekend

Sylvia Li is one of five underclassmen on the Crimson squad (Harvard Athletic Communications).

Scene Setter
The Harvard women's tennis team plays host to William and Mary Friday afternoon and Kansas State Sunday morning.

Last Time Out
The Crimson began its spring portion of the schedule with a decisive 7-0 win over Cleveland State last Sunday. The Crimson began the day by sweeping all three doubles matches to earn the doubles point before winning all six singles matches. Hideko Tachibana led the way with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Alex Power at No. 1, while No. 5 Amanda Lin made her dual match debut and blanked Ellen Folkers, 6-0, 6-0.

Related Article: Women's Tennis Opens Spring Season, Blanks Cleveland State, 7-0

About Harvard
The Crimson sits at 1-0 overall for the fourth straight year after knocking off the Cleveland State Vikings in its opener. Between the fall and spring seasons, Harvard is 59-29 in singles play and 23-13 in doubles action. Freshman Amanda Lin leads the team with an 11-2 mark, while classmate Crystal Yen is second on the team with nine victories. Co-captain Kristin Norton has teamed with Amy He to form Harvard's second doubles team, posting a 4-0 mark thus far.

Fantastic Four
The Crimson's quartet of freshmen has made an immediate impact on the team. Amanda Lin leads the team with an 11-2 record and joined senior co-captain Hideko Tachibana to form the team's top doubles tandem. Rookie Amy He has teamed with Kristin Norton on Harvard's No. 2 doubles team, winning the Crimson Doubles Flight at the Harvard Fall Invitational, and He is 5-5 in singles play. Crystal Yen is second on the team with eight wins, while Amy He is third with seven to give the Class of 2016 the three highest win totals on the squad.

The Crimson posted its first shutout in a season opener since the 2010 spring when Harvard shutout Boston University, 7-0, inside the Murr Center. Overall, the Crimson has recorded 13 season-opening shutouts in the history of the program.

Moving On Up
After coming in at No. 74 in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women's Team Rankings, Harvard moved up to No. 73 after its impressive opening win. Yale continues to lead the ranked Ancient Eight teams, coming in at No. 28 for the second straight ranking. Brown (No. 63), Columbia (No. 70) and Princeton (No. 71) are also in the most recent edition of the polls.

Home, Sweet Home
Harvard will play 15 of its 20 matches at home this spring, including the first nine matches of the season. The Crimson hosts Commonwealth rivals Massachusetts (Feb. 9), Boston College (Feb. 23) and Boston University (March 1) and Ivy League foes Penn (April 13), Princeton (April 14), Yale (April 21) and Dartmouth (April 27) among the 20-match schedule.

Harvard's five road contests consist of trips to Florida to play Stetson (March 19) and South Florida (March 20), New York to take on Cornell (April 5) and Columbia (April 6) and Rhode Island to battle Brown (April 19).

About William & Mary
The Tribe enters the weekend at 3-1 overall and is coming off an upset of No. 19 Mississippi Tuesday afternoon. After losing the doubles point and the first two singles matches, William & Mary won the final four singles matches, including three in three sets, to stun the Bulldogs, 4-3. The Tribe's lone loss came to No. 3 Duke, while it also holds wins over Richmond and UMBC.

Series History vs. the Tribe
The Crimson trails in the all-time series, 7-21, to the Tribe. Harvard did win the most recent contest, 5-2, March 24 of last year to snap a 19-match losing streak.

About No. 64 Kansas State
The Wildcats have not yet played in 2013, but KSU will take on William & Mary Saturday before facing the Crimson Sunday morning. Kansas State returns six letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 8-15 and No. 71 in the final ITA team rankings. Junior Petra Nidermayeroya, currently No. 15 in the ITA singles rankings, went 14-5 in the fall to pace the team.

Series History vs. the Wildcats
This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Captains of the Ship
Seniors Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton return as co-captains for their final campaign in Cambridge. Tachibana finished 6-2 in singles in the fall, while Norton went 4-1. The pair also teamed up and took second in the 'A' doubles flight at the Columbia Invitational before falling in the opening round of the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championship. Both Tachibana and Norton posted 4-3 marks in Ivy League singles play last season.

Back Again
In addition to the two captains, Harvard brings back three other members from last year's squad that went 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy League. Hannah Morril and Natalie Blosser both return for their junior seasons, while Sylvia Li is the lone second year on the squad. The coaching staff also returns head coach Traci Green for her sixth season with the Crimson and her assistants are Pavle Jefferson and Debbie Goldfine.

Fresh Faces
The tennis squad welcomed in a quartet of freshman for the 2012-13 season. Amy He, Hai Li Kong, Amanda Lin and Crystal Yen all joined the squad prior to the start of the fall campaign. Lin won the 'C' flight at the Columbia Invitational, besting teammate Sylvia Li, 6-4, 7-5, and she teamed with Li to take the Katrina Guenther Doubles Flight at the Tribe Invitational. Kong won the Cherle Dow Singles Flight at the Tribe Invitational to up the total number of tournament titles for the class of 2016 to three. Overall, the group has combined to go 27-9 in singles play in its inaugural season of intercollegiate competition.

Up Next
The Maryland Terrapins make the trip up from College Park, Md. for a Feb. 2 contest inside the Murr Center.