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No. 23 Johns Hopkins Narrowly Escapes No. 35 Women's Tennis, 5-4

Emily Oh
Emily Oh

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The No. 35 Haverford College women's tennis team (5-5, 0-2 CC) nearly upended No. 23 Johns Hopkins on Saturday inside the Alumni Field House, falling 5-4 as the match came down to the wire against the Blue Jays (4-2, 3-0 CC). 

Haverford's 5-4 loss was the closest to Johns Hopkins since the 2003 season, as the Fords looked very much among the strongest teams in the nation in the narrow defeat at the hands of their conference foes from Baltimore. 

The Fords started things with a bang as the doubles team of Emily Oh and Mimi Lavin delivered an early victory over Christina Huynh and Aya Igaki-Meader, taking an 8-6 decision. Hopkins went into singles up 2-1, however, with Emily Javedan and Anjali Devireddy, the Atlantic South region's 14th ranked doubles pairing, prevailing 8-6 over Anne Tobin and Rachael Fitzgerald, before Celina Liu and Jessica Liang squeaked past Abbey Russano and Ellie Esterowitz.

Heading into singles play, Oh continued her stellar season with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Javedan at No. 4, making quick work of her opponent to tie the overall match at 2-2. At the top flight, Deivreddy got the victory over Fitzgerald (6-0, 6-2), but Russano then delivered yet another crucial victory for the Fords over Igaki-Meader, taking straight set victories at the second flight (6-4, 6-4). At the third flight, Hopkins then fought back as Huynh took down Lavin (6-3, 6-4), but Esterowitz later tied the overall match score with her huge win at number five singles, a straightforward triumph over Liang (6-4, 6-0). 

The tie score set the stage for the anticipated battle at six singles, with the entire crowd looking on as an epic came down to Amanda Ruci and Summer Williams locking horns. Williams fought valiantly to keep the visitors on edge, but Ruci eventually prevailed by 6-3, 6-4 scores to clinch the match for Hopkins, as the Blue Jays escaped the Alumni Field House victorious by the thinnest of margins. 

The Fords are back in action next week as the squad travels to Washington College on Tuesday, doing battle with the Shorewomen (4 p.m.). Haverford then hosts Franklin & Marshall on Saturday, April 9 (12 p.m.) to kick off a stretch of four home matches in two weeks.