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Dartmouth Downs No. 68 Princeton to Pick up First Ivy Win

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By Doug Austin
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HANOVER, N.H. – In a dramatic match that was clinched by freshman Katherine Yau in a third set tiebreaker at No. 1 singles, the Dartmouth women’s tennis team downed No. 68 Princeton, 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Boss Tennis Center and Gordon Pavilion.

The Big Green (8-7, 1-3 Ivy League) picked up their first Ivy League win of the season, while the Tigers (11-6, 3-2 Ivy League) split their conference road weekend after topping Harvard, 4-3, on Saturday.

With the win, Dartmouth avenged a 6-1 defeat a year ago in the Garden State.

Besides Yau, Akiko Okuda and Melissa Matsuoka also netted singles triumphs at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Dartmouth got off to a good start by winning the doubles point, 2-1. Matsuoka and freshman Sarah Bessen won 8-6 at No. 2, and senior tri-captain Jeri Reichel teamed with freshman Julienne Keong Si Ying to win 8-6 at No. 3 singles.

Reichel has been battling injuries all year, and this was only the second doubles match she has played in the 2012-13 season, making the victory especially sweet for the South Carolina native. With the doubles win, Keong notched her career first Ivy League match victory.

In singles action, Matsuoka made quick work of senior Monica Chow, winning 6-0, 6-0 to put the Big Green up 2-0. However, Princeton began to battle back, taking No. 5 and No. 6 singles to tie the match 2-2. Bessen was then edged in three sets at No. 4 singles, as Yau and Okuda were embroiled in third set battles.

Okuda had saved a match point in the second set when trailing 5-4, and fought back to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. With the overall match score knotted at 3-3, Yau played aggressive baseline tennis to prevail over the Tigers’ Lindsay Graff 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (4). Graff, who was previously undefeated in Ivy play at No. 1 singles this spring, was Second Team All Ivy in singles and First Team All Ivy in doubles last year.

Dartmouth returns to action at Yale on Friday, April 19, at 2 p.m. The Big Green’s next home match is Sunday, April 21, at noon versus Brown.

Dartmouth 4, No. 68 Princeton 3

1. Katherine Yau defeated Lindsay Graff 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (4)
2. Akiko Okuda defeated Katherine Flanigan 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
3. Melissa Matsuoka defeated Monica Chow 6-0, 6-0
4. Sarah Bessen lost to Katie Goepel 7-6 (5), 0-6, 6-0
5. Suzy Tan lost to Emily Hahn 7-5, 6-1
6. Christina Danosi lost to Joan Cannon 6-4, 6-4

1. Yau/Okuda lost to Cannon/Graff 8-0
2. Bessen/Matsuoksa defeated Flanigan/Hahn 8-6
3. Jeri Reichel/Julienne Keong Si Ying defeated Chow/Goepel 8-6