Harvard 4, Tennessee 1

May 14, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Celia Durkin (Fr., Los Angeles, Calif.) fought back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 95 Victoria Jones to clinch No. 19 Harvards 4-1 victory over No. 17 Tennessee in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Division I Womens Tennis Championships Saturday afternoon at the Robert M. Beren Tennis Center. The victory sends Harvard (19-6) to the Round of 16 for the second time in the past three years. The final four rounds of the championships will be held May 19-22 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

Harvard upset Arizona in the second round of the 2003 NCAA tournament, advancing to the programs first berth in the Round of 16 where the Crimson dropped a 4-0 decision to eventual national runner-up Stanford. Harvard could get another shot at the top seeded Cardinal as it will meet the winner of the second round match up between Stanford and Oregon Thursday at 9 a.m.

Harvards win snapped a string of eight straight appearances in the Round of 16 for Tennessee, which was seeded 16th in the tournament and closes its season 15-9. The Crimson has now won its last 11 matches starting with a 4-3 win at Pepperdine April 2.

Harvard emerged victorious in a battle for the doubles point. Each of the Crimsons three doubles teams jumped out to 3-0 leads, and the top two each went up 5-1 before the Lady Vols began to rally. Harvards No. 1 doubles team of Melissa Anderson (So., Sydney Australia) and Celia Durkin, ranked No. 33 in the nation, led 7-2 before Tennessees Sabita Maharaj and Ashley Robards closed the gap to 7-4. The Crimson was able to close out the match to improve to 26-4 on the season. The No. 3 doubled team of Susanna Lingman (Sr., Irvine, Calif.) and Eva Wang (Jr., Haverford, Pa.) raced out to a 4-0 lead before Daron Moore and Bryce Marable ran off four straight games to knot the score at 4-4. The Crimson dup came up with another four-game run, clinching the doubles point for Harvard with an 8-4 win. Harvards No. 2 doubles team of Courtney Bergman (Sr., Boca Raton, Fla.) and Elsa ORiain (So., Cork, Ireland) held a 5-1 lead over Melissa Schaub and Ghizela Schutte before the Lady Vols fought back to knot the score at 6-6 when the match was suspended.

Eva Wang lost the first three games against Bryce Marable at No. 6 singles, but won the next 12 to close out a 6-3, 6-0 win and give Harvard a 2-0 lead in the match. No. 88 Susanna Lingman put the Crimson on the verge with a 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 80 Blakeley Griffith at No. 2 singles. The match was knotted at 3-3 in the second before Lingman was able to close it out.

It looked as if the Crimson was going to clinch the match at No. 5 singles, as Melissa Anderson was up 7-5, 5-3, 40-0. Ghizela Schutte would not cave, winning seven straight points en route to a 7-5 win in the second, sending the match into a deciding third set. Schutte held a 3-0 lead in the third when play was suspended. Ashley Robards posted a 7-6 (6), 6-1 win over No. 75 Elsa ORiain at No. 4 singles to get Tennessee on the board.

All eyes turned to the battles at No.1 and No. 3 singles. No. 50 Courtney Bergman won the first set over No. 42 Sabita Maharaj, 6-3, but dropped the second set 6-1. Bergman rallied, taking an early 3-1 lead, and held a 5-2 advantage when Durkin ended the match.

Durkin rolled out to a 3-0 lead in the deciding set. Jones closed the gap to 3-2 but could not get any closer as the Ivy League Rookie of the Year won her team-best 28th match of the season, and clinched Harvards second-straight NCAA win.

No. 19 Harvard 4, No. 17 Tennessee 1
1. No. 33 Melissa Anderson/Celia Durkin (H) def. Sabita Maharaj/Ashley Robards (T), 8-4
2. Courtney Bergman/Elsa ORiain (H) vs. Melissa Schaub/Ghizela Schutte (T), DNF
3. Susanna Lingman/Eva Wang (H) def. Daron Moore/Bryce Marable (T), 8-4*
Order of finish: 1, 3
*Clinched doubles point

1. No. 50 Courtney Bergman (H) vs. No. 42 Sabita Maharaj (T), DNF
2. No. 88 Susanna Lingman (H) def. No. 80 Blakeley Griffith (T), 6-4, 6-3**
3. Celia Durkin (H) def. No. 95 Victoria Jones (T), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Ashley Robards def. No. 75 Elsa ORiain (H), 7-6 (6), 6-1
5. Melissa Anderson (H) vs. Ghizela Schutte (T), DNF
6. Eva Wang (H) def. Bryce Marable (T), 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 2, 4, 3
**Clinched match

-- Courtesy Harvard