The women’s tennis team dominated the court this weekend when it took on Princeton and Penn in its second and third games of the Ivy season.
After a tough battle at Brown last weekend, the women used their defeat as momentum to turn out two victories in Princeton, N.J., and Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday.
“It felt really great, even though we were expecting to win both matches,” Sarah Lederhandler ’10 said. “We definitely knew what we had to do going into this weekend and we were all really glad to win both.”
No. 55 Yale took on No. 47 Princeton on Friday, ending with a tight final score of 4-3 in the Elis’ favor. The Bulldogs were not able to secure the doubles point, as the only doubles win came from Vicki Brook ’12 and Lindsay Clark ’11. But Janet Kim ’09, Brook, Clark and Lederhandler overtook their singles matches in the first, third, fourth and sixth singles positions, respectively.
Both Clark’s and Lederhandler’s three set games finally gave the Elis the upper hand they needed to win the match for the day.
“Janet Kim beat a very good player in straight sets who she had lost to in the fall in the ECAC championships,” Lilian Nguyen ’09 said of the Princeton highlights. “Vicki Brook also came up with a really big straight sets win and beat a very tough player. Sarah Lederhandler played through a lot of pain and also beat a player who she had lost to in the fall. And Lindsay Clark clinched the match for us after losing the first set and coming back to win in three sets. All of the matches were so close and everyone really had to step up in order for us to win.”
On Saturday, the Elis had a less challenging battle against Penn. The final score, 6-1, reflected the preparation and momentum the women had gained from the day before.
The Bulldogs handily took the doubles point with victories from Brook and Clark, and Kim and Jessie Rhee ’10.
Four of five winning singles matches were straight sets, while Brook duked it out in a three-set game against Penn’s Lauren Sadaka.
“We knew that this would be a huge weekend for us in terms of giving us a chance to still win the Ivy League,” Nguyen said.
The women made progress toward their goal of winning an Ivy League championship this weekend. They were able to maintain the physical and mental stamina necessary to play two high-level teams in one weekend.
“Mentally it wasn’t hard at all to get psyched for these matches,” Nguyen said. “We knew what was on the line, so we were very mentally prepared and ready. Physically, we train very hard, and that definitely helps us in all of our matches. The match against Princeton was very grueling, and our tough physical preparation allowed us to continue to play hard and at our best against Penn the next day.”
The women will face off against Cornell and Columbia at home next weekend.
“We’ll be doing the same thing that we did this past weekend — playing with a lot of heart and a lot bravery,” Kim said.