W. TENNIS | Women’s tennis comes out firing

After a two-month hiatus from match play, the women’s tennis team made a strong return over the weekend as it started its spring season.

The No. 47 Bulldogs (3–0, 0–0 Ivy) crushed the Boston College Eagles (0–1) on Saturday by a score of 6–1 and then defeated the Boston University Terriers (0–2) on Sunday with a 7–0 shutout.

Elizabeth Epstein ’13 won both of her No. 2 singles matches in straight sets over Boston College and Boston University.
Elizabeth Epstein ’13 won both of her No. 2 singles matches in straight sets over Boston College and Boston University.

The Elis said they were proud of their performances, considering the limited amount of practice time since winter break.

“We knew going in that BC and BU were both very deep teams,” Kim Szokol ’14 said. “We only had a week of practice beforehand, but we really used every minute of practice wisely, and we all felt very prepared for our matches.”

Elizabeth Epstein ’13, who is the team’s highest nationally ranked singles player at No. 65, was especially dominant this weekend. On Saturday, she won her No. 2 singles match after losing only two games, winning her sets 6–1, 6–1. The following day, she again won in two sets, this time winning 6–4 and 6–1.

On Saturday against Boston College, Vicky Brook ’12 led the team at the No. 1 singles position, coming back after a 7–5 loss in the first set to clinch the win with the next two sets, winning 6-4 and 6–1. She would battle hard the next day as well, winning her match against Boston University in three close sets.

The only point against the Bulldogs this weekend came as a result of captain Stevi Petrelli’s ’11 injury during her third set in the No. 5 singles match against the Eagles. Petrelli was not able to play the following day against the Terriers, but she is expected to play this coming weekend.

Unlike the Elis, both Boston College and Boston University are unranked teams. But the Bulldogs didn’t let that fact distract them from the task at hand.

“Even though they were unranked teams, it was up to us to show that we earned our ranking,” Brook said.

Despite their unranked squads, both Boston College and Boston University had notably deep rosters, which meant that Yale’s freshmen had to step up their own game.

“It was a really important match for the freshman and it was great to have them on the court with us,” Brook said.

Szokol echoed Brook’s sentiments.

“The team dynamic was great all weekend,” she said. “Especially as a freshman, it was fun and exciting to compete in my first dual matches.”

The Bulldogs have started their season undefeated, but all three of their wins have been on their home courts at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center against unranked opponents.

The competition will be getting tougher in the next two weeks. The coming three matches will all be away, and the teams will all be ranked. This coming weekend, the Bulldogs will play No. 4 Notre Dame and then No. 22 Arkansas or No. 40 Utah. The next weekend, they will play No. 26 Vanderbilt in Nashville.

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