With a pair of victories over Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend, the women’s tennis team secured second place in the Ivy League behind the University of Pennsylvania. But following the victories, the Elis suffered a huge loss Monday when head coach Meghan McMahon resigned.
The Bulldogs (12-5, 6-1 Ivy) defeated Dartmouth (7-11, 2-4) 5-2 Sunday and Harvard (10-10, 3-3) 5-2 Friday securing their finest spring campaign in over a decade. The day after clinching their second place finish, McMahon announced her resignation following seven seasons in the Elm City, citing a desire to spend more time with her family.
By steam-rolling six straight Ivy opponents since their April 6 loss to Pennsylvania, the Elis tied the school record of six league victories in a season. The only comparable year in Yale women’s tennis history is 1989, when the Bulldogs were co-Ivy League champions with a 6-1 record.
This weekend the Elis continued the dominant play that has characterized their impressive Ivy season.
In the opening match, Andrea Goldberg ’02 and Biffy Kaufman ’03 handled Caroline Bashleben and Sarita Yardi 8-4 in the No. 1 spot. From there, Yale never looked back, as the twin duo of Karlyn Martin ’04 and Ashley Martin ’04 won the second match 9-7 against Catherine Crandall and Courtney Smalley. Susie Hiniker ’02 and Liz Oosterhuis ’02 finished the sweep by crushing Lisa Francazio and Kelsy Surbaugh 8-1.
The Bulldogs continued to roll in the singles bouts, with Kaufman, Hiniker, Karlyn Martin and Margaret Purcell ’04 each winning in straight sets. Goldberg lost her No. 1 singles match to Yardi 7-6 (7-4), 6-0. Oosterhuis fell to Surbaugh 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (6) in a third-set tiebreaker.
“We tried to really focus at the Dartmouth match because we didn’t want to let down after our win at Harvard,” Ashley Martin ’04 said. “Dartmouth was very pumped up and loud, so it was exciting.”
But the highlight of the weekend was the victory over Harvard. Yale went into the match a bit intimidated — the Crimson play in a brand new tennis center with a state-of-the-art sound system and a giant electronic scoreboard. The Harvard team has also won 13 Ivy League championships in the last 21 years.
The nerves showed in the opening doubles matches. Yale quickly lost the first team point when Goldberg and Kaufman fell to Sanj Bajin and Sanaz Ghazal 8-4, and the Martins lost to Fleur Broughton and Andrea Magyera 8-2. But in the third doubles match, the Elis turned the tide. Oosterhuis and Hiniker won a close tiebreak over Olivia Garcia-McKean and Jennie Timoney 9-7.
“Liz and Susie really saved us there,” McMahon said. “They played great, and they had the Harvard team rattled.”
Yale went on to win five of six singles matches. Kaufman, Purcell and Karlyn Martin each won in straight sets, and Oosterhuis and Hiniker won in three sets. Goldberg lost her match to Bajin — a top-ranked regional player — 6-3, 6-4.
“The Harvard match was a huge win,” McMahon said. “It’s the first time we’ve beaten them in a dual in a long time. I give [the players] a lot of credit for getting over [the distractions].”