WOMEN’S TENNIS | Elis drop No.1 spot in Ivies

Captain Elizabeth Epstein ‘13, above, took down Harvard’s Hideko Tachibana in singles 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1.
Captain Elizabeth Epstein ‘13, above, took down Harvard’s Hideko Tachibana in singles 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1. Photo by Samantha Gardner.

The No. 35 women’s tennis team had mixed success in Ivy League play over the weekend, defeating Dartmouth 5­–2 but losing to archrival Harvard by the same score.

In the last home match of the season, the Bulldogs first faced Dartmouth in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center on Friday. The doubles play got off to a rocky start, with No. 1 pairing Madeleine Hamilton ’16 and Annie Sullivan ’14 dropping their match to the Big Green 5-8. But captain Elizabeth Epstein ’13 and Hanna Yu ’15 took down their opponents comfortably at No. 2, while No. 3 duo Courtney Amos ’16 and Amber Li ’15 also enjoyed an 8-6 success.

With the doubles point secured, the Elis were eager to make an impact in singles play. At No. 1, Epstein, ranked No. 67 in the nation, suffered a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Dartmouth’s Katherine Yau. Hamilton fought back after dropping the first set 2-6 at No. 2, taking the next two sets by the same score. At No. 3, Sullivan brought her singles record this season to 17-0 with an emphatic 6-0, 6-1 win, while Li lost in straight sets at No. 5. Since it was Senior Day, Sarah Guzick ’13 made an appearance in the No. 6 spot, earning a 6-3, 6-4 win over Christina Danosi.

Sullivan said it was especially great to secure a win over Dartmouth on Senior Day and praised the contributions of Guzick and Epstein.

“Senior Day is always a special day for us as we all try to play for our senior class and win the match for them,” Sullivan said. “Sarah and Elizabeth have been such amazing leaders this year. They lead by example and their hard work and commitment inspires the entire team.”

After their success, the Bulldogs had a day of rest before facing Harvard in Cambridge on Sunday. Knowing that they needed to clinch this win to be guaranteed a third straight Ivy League title, the pressure was on for the Elis. The team was disappointed to start the match after losing the doubles point. All three matches were close, with Amos and Sullivan prevailing 8-6 at No. 3 and Hamilton and Li dropping their match 8-6 at No. 2. No. 1 pairing Epstein and Yu, playing together for only the second time this season, endured a hard 8-9 loss, with the score in the final tiebreak standing at 7-9.

Epstein bounced back from the doubles loss to beat her singles opponent 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1. Sullivan continued her dominance at No. 3, defeating Harvard’s Kristin Norton 7-6, 7-5 and extended her winning streak to 18. The remaining Bulldogs did not fare so well against the Crimson, with Hamilton and Yu at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, both losing in three sets. Li suffered a 6-2, 7-5 defeat at No. 5, while Amos was dealt a 6-0, 6-1 blow in the No. 6 position.

Ree Ree Li ‘16 said that despite the loss against Harvard, the team is already gearing up for its next match.

“Harvard came out with great energy, and they were ready to compete,” Li said. “Despite losing, we are learning from this match and preparing ourselves to play Brown on Saturday.”

Despite last Sunday’s disappointment, if the Bulldogs defeat Brown this coming Saturday, they still stand a shot at the Ivy League title. They currently stand second in the conference, behind Columbia.

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