Elis fall short at regionals

While men’s team player Brandon Wai ’07 was getting ready for the final rounds of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Regionals Monday, the women had already packed their bags to return home from West Point.

The Elis failed to make it past the round of 16 in either doubles or singles play this weekend. Only the top players in the region are invited to this competition, which was the penultimate of the fall season for Yale women’s tennis. In four days of play, the Bulldogs faced tough competition from top teams such as No. 16 Harvard and No. 20 William and Mary.

Yale was represented by six singles players — three entered in the qualifying round and three in the main draw — as well as two doubles teams.

In singles play, Rashmee Patil ’07 and Janet Kim ’09 were both eliminated in the round of 32. Patil, the No. 22 seed in the A flight division, fell to No. 1 seed Megan Moulton-Levy of William and Mary, 6-1, 6-3. In C flight singles, Janet Kim ’09 was defeated by No. 10 seed Laura Peterzan of Harvard, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.

Christina Cutter ’09, the No. 4 seed in the qualifying round, was forced to pull out of the singles competition due to problems with her rotator cuff. She and doubles partner Aimee Kim ’07 were defeated in the first round by No. 4 seed Shannon Brown and Lynzee Keever of Marshall, 8-1.

“I don’t think either of us was really at the top of our game,” Cutter said.

Although Patil and Olivia Nix ’07 advanced to the round of 16, they too ultimately fell, losing 8-2 to No. 5 seed Rachel Del Priore and Douglas Wink of Virginia.

Freshmen players said playing in the ITA Regionals and other fall tournaments has given them a chance to adjust to tennis on the collegiate level, no matter what their individual results.

“Up until now I’ve been playing in my age group,” said Cutter. “Now for the first time I’m playing girls who could be four years older than me. I thought it was going to be intimidating, but you play the ball, not your opponent.”

Despite her loss, Kim said she was satisfied with her level of play and the improvements she has made in her tennis since coming to Yale.

“I’m adding more dimension to my game,” she said. “Usually I hit pretty flat balls that my opponents can handle pretty easily, but recently with my coaches I’ve been practicing hitting more offensive shots.”

Head coach Katie Granson, a former intercollegiate player for Duke, said she has been impressed with the freshmen players’ tennis in their first months at the collegiate level.

“The fall is a good transition because they are used to playing individually from the junior level,” she said. “It’s tough because they’re not used to balancing so many other elements in their lives.”

The Bulldogs round out their fall season at the Brown Invitational this Saturday. Granson said the tournament will be a hidden-match duel, in which results are entered into the rankings individually and both teams’ entire rosters play each other. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs will be at the same tournament, in effect competing as a team.

“It’s our lineup against theirs,” she said. “The only difference is that we don’t report the score.”

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