On Sunday, the second-seeded women’s tennis team claimed its third straight ECAC Indoor Tennis Championships by defeating Princeton, the top-seeded defending Ivy League champions, 4–2.
The Bulldogs reached the finals after cruising through the first two rounds with dual 6–1 victories over Columbia and Harvard.
“We are extremely excited, especially with the taste of last spring’s losses to Harvard and Princeton still very real,” Lindsay Clark ’11 said. “It felt great to experience a very different outcome this time around.”
In the opening match against the seventh-seeded Lions, the Elis took all three doubles matches to claim the doubles point as well as five singles points.
Clark and Vicky Brook ’12 defeated Nicole Bartnik and Bianca Sanon 8–7 at the No. 1 doubles spot. Stephanie Kent ’12 and Annie Sullivan ’14 won 8–2 against Natasha Makarova and Katarina Kovacevic while Silia DeFilippis ’11 and Elizabeth Epstein ’13 completed the sweep with a 8–3 victory over Chelsea Davis and Tiana Takenaga.
Harvard was unable to stop the Bulldogs in the semifinals, scoring its only point at the No. 1 singles spot. Holly Cao, who is nationally ranked at 47th in singles play, bested Brook 7–6, 6–0. But Yale won the rest of singles matches and the doubles point as well.
“It was a total team effort and everyone really stepped up their level of play and fought extremely hardm,” captain Stevi Petrelli ’11 said.
The Bulldogs faced off against the tournament’s one seed Princeton in the finals. The two teams had met in the same circumstance two years ago in the 2009 title match, with Yale triumphing 4–3.
The Tigers struck first by winning the doubles matches at No. 1 and No. 3 spots and claiming the doubles point. But this lead turned out to be short-lived as the Elis staged a comeback in singles play.
“We were able to pull out big wins this weekend because of our mental and physical toughness,” Clark said. “In the tough pressure situations, we were the stronger team.”
At the No. 1 singles spot, Brook defeated Hilary Bartlett, last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year in three sets 6–2, 3–6, 6–4. Epstein took down Taylor Marable in straight sets 6–2, 6–1 while Petrelli won her match against Katherine Flanigan 6–4, 6–3.
The Tigers reduced the Bulldogs’ lead to 3–2 when Monica Chow defeated Kent 6–2, 6–3. But Sullivan clinched the title for Yale at the No. 6 spot with a come from behind victory against Blakely Ashley, 6–7, 6–4, 6–3.
“I was so happy to know my win clinched our victory,” Sullivan said. “I knew the match was close, but while I was playing I didn’t know that if I won, the match would be over.”
The Bulldogs improved to 9–2 this season and will face Stony Brook this Sunday at home.