COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland women's tennis team (1-0, 0-0 B1G) knocked off Harvard (1-2, 0-0 Ivy) 5-2 to begin its 2018 spring season on Saturday. Maryland has now won its opening match of the year in back-to-back seasons.
"Today was a great start for our team," head coach Daria Panova said. "I'm very proud of our freshmen for coming in and winning in the first matches of their career. Both of them battled through adversity and came out with good wins. I'm also happy to see Katya get her senior season off on the right foot with a win that really got us going in the right direction today. Now we get a unique opportunity to take on some great opponents at Pepperdine next weekend."
The Terps got off to a hot start after clinching the doubles point to begin the match. Eva Alexandrova and Millie Stretton were victorious in their Terrapin debuts, picking up a 6-2 win at first doubles. Arnelle Sullivan and Saya Usui then clinched the point for Maryland with a 6-4 win at third doubles.
Tour dominated at the second singles position, earning the first set victory by a score of 6-2. The senior never looked back, winning her second set by the same score and picking up her first singles win of the season.
Kulkarni earned a 6-1, 7-5 victory in her first dual match as a Terrapin. The freshman cruised in her opening set, but was forced to battle back in the second. After going down 4-1 to begin, she climbed all the way back to earn the 7-5 win that put Maryland one point shy of a victory.
Harvard was able to narrow the deficit with a win at fifth singles, but freshman Eva Alexandrova sealed the win for Maryland shortly after.
The freshman made her debut in the top position of Maryland's singles lineup. Neither Alexandrova nor Friedel could pull away in the opening set, which eventually headed to a tiebreaker. Alexandrova was able to come out on top, taking it 7-4. It was more of the same in the second set, and once again the two were forced to play a tiebreaker. Alexandrova controlled this one from the beginning, winning 7-2 and clinching the match for Maryland.
Junior Millie Stretton kept it going for Maryland, giving the Terps a 5-1 lead with s 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (4) victory at third singles.
Harvard closed out the day with a win at fourth singles, making the final score 5-2.
Maryland will now head to Pepperdine University to take part in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, a national event that features some of the top programs in the country. Maryland will battle Pepperdine in its opening match and then will take on either Oregon or Rice to finish the event.
For a full results from Maryland's match against Harvard, please see below.
Maryland 5, Harvard 2
- Eva Alexandrova/Millie Stretton (UMD) def. Eric Oosterhout/Irene Lu (Harvard), 6-2
- Kate Yemelyanenka/Ekaterina Tour (UMD) UF Annika Ringblom/Anna Li (Harvard), 5-4
- Arnelle Sullivan/Saya Usui (UMD) def. Jenna Friedel/Isabel Jaspar (Harvard), 6-5
- Eva Alexandrova (UMD) def. Jenna Friedel (Harvard), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2)
- Ekaterina Tour (UMD) def. Irene Lu (Harvard), 6-2, 6-2
- Millie Stretton (UMD) def. Annika Ringblom (Harvard), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (4)
- Neha Gupta (Harvard) def. Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka (UMD) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
- Jenna Moustafa (Harvard) def. Saya Usui (UMD), 7-5, 6-2
- Zoe Kulkarni (UMD) def. Anna Li (Harvard), 6-1, 7-5