The No. 28 Bulldogs (16–3, 4–0 Ivy) ruled the Empire State this weekend by defeating Columbia (12–5, 3–2 Ivy) and Cornell (9–8, 1–4 Ivy). The victories stretched the Elis’ winning streak to six, matching their largest of the season.
On Saturday, Yale eased past Columbia 5–2. The Elis secured the four points necessary to win the match before Columbia tallied its first.
For the 17th time in 18 matches, the Bulldogs won the doubles point to jump out to a 1–0 lead. At No. 2, the 86th-ranked pair of Elizabeth Epstein ’13 and Annie Sullivan ’14 made quick work of its opponents, 8–1. Shortly thereafter, Yale wrapped up the doubles point at No. 3 with Blair Seideman ’14 and captain Stephanie Kent ’12 winning 8–4. At No. 1, the 75th-ranked duo of Amber Li ’15 and Vicky Brook ’12 fell 8–5.
Once again up 1–0, the Elis quickly achieved the three additional points they needed for the win. Playing at No. 6, Sullivan bulldozed her opponent 6–1, 6–0 for the second point. Brook continued the onslaught at No. 4, where she won 6–1, 6–3. Including her 6–2, 6–1 demolition on Sunday, Brook moved to 9–1 in her last 10 matches.
“I’ve found a happy medium with my game,” Brook said. “Also there’s the element of this being my last season. I’m taking the court with a happy and positive frame of mind, making the most of my last opportunity out here. I’ve been having a ton of fun, and it’s reflecting in my game.”
Kent sealed the match victory at No. 5 with a 6–2, 6–3 straight-set win.
On Sunday, Yale swept past the Big Red, 7–0.
The Bulldogs took their usual 1–0 advantage by winning the doubles point. All three pairs won their matches. The closest was at No. 1, where Li and Brook won 8–4.
In singles, only Hanna Yu’s ’15 match went into three sets. Playing at No. 3, Yu dropped the first set 6–3 to her opponent, Ryann Young. She stormed back to take the second set 6–4 before winning the third set tiebreaker 10–7 to claim the match.
Against Cornell, Seideman moved up to play at No. 2, where she out-dueled her adversary 6–0, 6–4. On the previous day against Columbia, Seideman had pulled out a tough match at No. 3, 7–6(2), 7–6(7). She stressed the importance of her narrow win, especially after falling just short in a similar match against No. 9 University of Miami (Fla.) in March.
“The second set was mentally a breakthrough for me because I had lost the match in Miami when it was that close,” Seideman, a staff photographer for the News, said. “It was nice to come through like that in an Ivy League match.”
In Saturday’s victory against Columbia, team members stressed the importance of the team’s depth. The match was won with the doubles point and the singles points from No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6. Although Columbia has a very strong line-up for the top positions, the Elis were able to pull out the victory because of a full team effort, top to bottom.
The Bulldogs’ two victories were doubly important as No. 48 Brown (16–6, 2–2 Ivy) lost both to Columbia and Cornell. The Bears were considered to be the Elis’ toughest competitors for the Ivy title. While the team was certainly aware that Cornell had beaten Brown on Saturday, that knowledge was not necessarily the impetus for the trouncing of the Big Red.
“We were coming into the weekend really excited about both matches regardless,” coach Danielle McNamara said. “We understand the target really is on our back. We are getting up for every single match.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action against Harvard at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center on Friday, April 20 at 2 p.m.