The Harvard women’s tennis team ended its spring break in Los Angeles with a win over a ranked opponent to cap off an impressive run. The Crimson swept its three games this weekend to remain undefeated in March, extending its win streak to five games.
Harvard managed to best Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara by one point, and No. 24 Fresno State by two.
HARVARD 4, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 3
Harvard got the break started in Los Angeles against the Lions. Loyola Marymount (4-7) had hosted its last three coming into the contest. But the team has struggled in the LMU tennis center, racking up just two wins and four defeats. These woes continued into its tilt with the Crimson.
Harvard got off to a strong start with the pair of sophomore Annika Ringblom and freshman Sabrina Xiong and the duo of sophomore Nikki Kallenberg and junior June Lee winning their respective matches to secure the doubles point.
Singles went back and forth with neither team able to gain an advantage. It was the bottom of the ladder that came through for the Crimson. Of the top four seeds, only Kallenberg was victorious. Xiong and captain Amy He won the matches at the bottom two seeds to force a split of the six singles matches, with the doubles victory securing the match for Harvard.
HARVARD 4, UCSB 3
The Crimson headed north for its matchup against UCSB. Despite the fact that the Gauchos (6-6) came into the match playing in great form having won five of its last six, the Crimson would add its second win of its California road trip.
The doubles point went to the Gauchos as Harvard’s women were swept 3-0. However, the Crimson would recover to claim victory in four of the next six singles matches with the bottom half of the ladder again performing well. Four of the six matches were won in the final third set.
Freshman Erica Oosterhout and Ringblom would win their singles matches to get the Crimson halfway to victory. For the second time in just days, Xiong and He all won their individual contests to get Harvard over the hump.
HARVARD 4, FRESNO STATE 2
Los Angeles was once again the destination as the Crimson headed back down to play Fresno State (10-5) at a neutral location.
The Crimson was in the dirt early on. The doubles point went to Fresno State after the Bulldogs swept the doubles matches.
June Lee suffered her third defeat in as many matches losing to Fresno’s Ace Mayar Sherif Ahmed 6-0, 6-4. Kallenberg and Oosterhout chipped in for wins while Xiong and He continued their impressive weekend with wins at the bottom of the ladder to clinch the victory 4-2.
The team came behind not once, but twice this weekend.
“Even when we were down or we lost the doubles point, I think everyone believed that we could win which is what we need when we play higher ranked teams,” Lee said.