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Harvard Comes Up Short at CSA Women's Team Championship

Harvard's Amanda Sobhy

Portions of story courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Top-ranked Harvard fell short of its third consecutive national title, dropping a hard-fought 5-4 decision to Trinity in the 2014 Howe Cup finals at the CSA Women's Team Championships on Sunday.

The Crimson opened up with a 2-1 lead after the first flight, but the Bantams won four of the next six matches to secure the win and deny the Crimson its 15th national championship.

Trailing by two, No. 1 Amanda Sobhy stepped onto the court and made quick work of Kanzy El DeFrawy in the top position to cut the deficit to 4-3. Dileas MacGowan then won a tightly contested battle in the seventh position, downing Sachika Balvani, 3-2, to knot the score at four.

Saumya Karki and Anna Kimberley battled it out on court four with the national title on the line. The two traded wins before Kimberley took the third game. Karki fought hard but could not hold on to force the fifth game, falling 3-1.

Megan Murray was even at one when Chanel Dowling looked like she would take a two-game lead with a 10-4 advantage, but the junior went on an eight-point run to stay alive.  Murray went on to clinch the first win of the day. After falling to Wee Nee Low in the first match, No. 3 Katie Tutrone fought back to win the next three and post a 3-1 victory. Julianne Chu had a low start in the sixth position as the junior trailed 2-0. Chu gained momentum to wins the next two games before ultimately falling to Natalie Babjukova in the fifth set.

In the second flight, the momentum shifted as No. 2 Haley Mendez fell to Catalina Pelaez in four, Isabelle Dowling dropped a, 3-2, decision to Jen Pelletier in the eighth position and Michelle Gemmell suffered a setback in the fifth spot as Trinity pulled away, 4-2.

In other tournament action, Princeton placed fifth in the Howe Cup, bouncing back from a 5-4 loss to Yale on Friday to record two straight wins. The Tigers defeated Cornell in the fifth-place match.

Yale placed third in the Howe Cup. The Bulldogs lost in the semifinals to Harvard, 6-3, then downed Penn on Sunday, 5-4. Dartmouth placed eighth in the Howe Bracket, losing Sunday to Stanford.

In the Kurtz Cup, Columbia lost the championship match on Sunday to George Washington, 5-4, to finish 10th overall. Brown placed 11th overall after winning its consolation match on Sunday over Bates, 5-4, bouncing back from a 5-4 loss to George Washington on Saturday.