Despite the increasingly chilly weather, some of the best women’s tennis players in the country met in Philadelphia this weekend for some very heated matches.
Four Bulldogs traveled to University of Pennsylvania Friday to compete at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Eastern Women’s Regional Championships, which end today.
On Saturday, Reshmi Srinath ’05, Yale’s No. 1 player and a 17-32 seed in the tournament, upset 9-16 seed Lena Sherbakov of the College of William and Mary in straight sets 7-5, 6-1 to reach round 16. This is the second year in a row Srinath has secured a place in the tournament’s third round.
“[Srinath] played a very high level of tennis with a lot of tenacity in her upset over Lena Sherbakov,” head coach Chad Skorupka said. “Only a handful of players were left playing on Monday, and she was one of them.”
But Srinath’s run was ended on Monday when she was defeated by Harvard’s Courtney Bergman 6-2, 6-2. Bergman is the tournament’s third seed and is ranked 27th in the nation. Srinath said she did not think the score indicated how close the match actually was.
“I was pretty happy with my performance this weekend,” Srinath said. “I felt I gave [Bergman] a good run for the game.”
Rashmee Patil ’07, also competing in the singles main draw, advanced to the second round after defeating Binghamton University’s Zeynep Altinay 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday. But Patil failed to advance further, losing to the University of Virginia’s Kristen James in three sets, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.
“I was pleased with my performance overall,” Patil said. “I proved to myself that I can compete against higher-ranked players. If we really focus and know what we need to do on the court, I believe we will have great results this spring.”
The ITA tournament concludes Yale’s official competition for the fall season. Over the next few months, the Bulldogs will be practicing on their own and trying to get ready for the spring season, when the hunt for the Ivy League title begins again.
Last season, the Bulldog team enjoyed its most successful season in recent years, finishing second to Harvard in the Ivy League. Skorupka is optimistic about his team’s chances this year.
“There is a lot of potential for success next spring,” Skorupka said.
One of the key issues for Skorupka and his coaching staff will be keeping the Bulldogs healthy. Captain Stephanie White ’05 has been struggling with a shoulder injury this fall, and rookie Lindsey Dashiell ’08 is still recovering from a thigh injury.
“[Both White and Dashiell] will have to work hard this fall on rehab and during the winter break to be ready to play at 100 percent next January,” Skorupka said.
The Bulldogs will begin their spring campaign when they host Quinnipiac University on Feb. 2 at the Cullman Courts.
“We are going to work very hard to get stronger and get better,” Srinath said.