After an upset last week at the hands of Princeton, the No. 35 women’s tennis team (17–4, 3–1 Ivy League) dominated its Ivy opponents this weekend, beating Columbia and Cornell by a combined score of 13–1.
The Elis downed Columbia 6–1 on Saturday and had a perfect game against Cornell on Sunday with a 7–0 victory. The pair of wins launched Yale into third place in the Ancient Eight, behind Brown and Dartmouth, which are tied for first. The Bulldogs, who have yet to face Brown and Dartmouth, could win the Ivy League Championship if it wins all three of its remaining Ivy League contests.
“We played really tough tennis,” Vicky Brook ’12 said. “We went into the weekend with a tough and gritty mentality, which meant we played smart tennis and were able to dominate.”
In doubles play, Kim Szokol ’14 and Blair Seideman ’14 blanketed their opponents 8–0. Annie Sullivan ’14 and Lindsay Clark ’11 quickly cruised to an 8–1 victory to clinch the doubles point for the Bulldogs.
The Elis then jumped to a 2–0 lead after Columbia’s Bianca Sanon retired from her match at the No. 2 spot. Seideman followed up with a 6–2, 6–0 win over Katarina Kavocevic, while captain Stevi Petrelli ’11 defeated Tiana Takenaga 6–4, 6–2 to give Yale the overall victory. Stephanie Kent ’12 and Sullivan won their matches in three sets. The Bulldogs’ victory over Columbia extended the Lions’ conference losing streak to four.
Yale continued its dominating performance the next day, easily topping the Big Red 7–0.
“We are treating the rest of Ivy season like a tournament, taking the mentality that we need to win each match to make it to the next day,” Petrelli said. “This approach has instilled a sense of urgency in us.”
Yale took the first point of the match after taking two doubles matches. Cornell won one doubles match but was unable to do much else as the Bulldogs went on to take all six of the singles matches. Seideman, who has yet to drop a single set in Ivy play, won 6–3, 6–1 and extended her singles winning streak to seven. Szokol took her match 6–1, 6–2 to put the Bulldogs up 3–0 and Epstein clinched the match for Yale, dropping only two games against Ryann Young.
Kent and Sullivan won in straight sets, and Brook completed the sweep for the Bulldogs after a lengthy battle against Christine Ordway, winning 7–5, 7–6.
With the win and Princeton’s loss against Dartmouth on Saturday, the Bulldogs surged ahead of the Tigers in the league standings. Yale currently holds the tiebreaker over Harvard, which dropped to 3–1 after a loss against Princeton.
“Every match we have left will be a challenge, but we are more than ready and excited to play each team,” Petrelli said. “We know that every single person on our team needs to show up to compete each day and that it has to be a total team effort.” With the hope of an Ivy League championship very much alive, the Bulldogs have taken control of their destiny. The team will play Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend before facing Brown in the regular-season finale April 23.