The Bulldogs shifted their spring success into the Ivy League this weekend by defeating both Princeton and Penn on the road.
The matches, which took place on Friday and Saturday, marked the opening of the Elis’ bid for a third-consecutive Ivy title. On Friday at the Lenz Tennis Center in Princeton, the Bulldogs dealt the Tigers their first Ivy defeat 5–2. Continuing their dominant display, the Elis followed up that performance with the same result against Penn at the Hamlin Tennis Center on Saturday.
The Bulldogs took the doubles point to open their match against Princeton. Elizabeth Epstein ’13 and Annie Sullivan ’14 added to their impressive doubles tally this season, winning 8–3 in the No. 1 spot. At No. 2, Amber Li ’15 and Madeleine Hamilton ’16 won comfortably 8–4, while No. 3 pair Courtney Amos ’16 and Hanna Yu ’15 conceded their match 6–8.
In singles play, both Epstein and Hamilton faced tough three-set matches at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, with the victor being decided in both cases by a super tie-break up to 10 points. Despite winning the first set, Epstein was unable to capitalize on her form and eventually lost 6–4, 2–6, (10–5). Hamilton came back from behind in her match, triumphing over Katherine Flanigan 4–6, 6–4, (10–2). No. 3 Sullivan and No. 4 Yu both defeated their opponents comfortably, winning 6–2, 6–3 and 6–1, 6–1, respectively. Li struggled at the No. 5 spot, losing in straight sets, but Amos dealt Joan Cannon a 7–6, 6–0 defeat in the No. 6 spot to bring the Bulldogs’ singles tally to 5–1.
Sullivan said she was pleased with the team’s performance, adding that she was particularly impressed by the contributions of the freshmen.
“The team competed really well this weekend in our first Ivy matches of the year,” she said. “It’s especially great to see the freshmen Courtney and Madeleine come out so strong this weekend with big wins.”
The team traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Quakers on Saturday, using the same lineup as in their Princeton match. At No. 1 doubles Epstein and Sullivan fell 5–8 to the No. 32 ranked doubles pairing in the nation, Stephanie Do and Augustina Eskenazi. But the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles pairings for the Bulldogs saw off their opponents in impressive form, 8–2 and 8–6 respectively, to secure the doubles point.
Epstein, ranked No. 46 in the nation, conceded her hard-fought match in the No. 1 singles position 5–7, 6–4 and Li ended up retiring in the second set to give the Quakers a second victory in the No. 5 position. The remaining Bulldogs stayed strong, winning all of their singles matches for a 5–2 overall record. No. 3 Sullivan endured a tense third set super tie-break to defeat Sonya Latycheva 6–2, 3–6, (10–8), while Yu at No. 4 bulldozed her opponent 6–0, 6–0.
Li said that the team feels it is in a strong position to take down the rest of the Ivies.
“I think that the team really took a lot of confidence from the amount of fitness and conditioning we’ve put in all season leading up to the Ivies,” she said. “We all know that the work has been done and we’re really ready to make a statement.”
The team, which has five remaining matches in the spring season, will face Cornell and Columbia on Apr.13–14. Both matches will be played at home in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.