During a busy three-day stretch, the women’s tennis team competed against seven squads from around the country in its home invitational tournament. Yale faced Virginia Tech, Boston College, Dartmouth, Brown, Purdue, Iowa and Penn State on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.
On Friday, the Yale Bulldogs women’s tennis team began its campaign through the Bulldog Invitational tournament with a resounding, tour de force sweep of its singles competition.
“YWT started off strong this year and I know it was a great experience for everyone,” Sherry Li ’17 said. “The competition was great, and playing as part of the team was such a blast. I’m so glad it’s only just begun.”
The Elis were able to pull out eight separate victories over Virginia Tech and Brown as every member of the team defeated her opponent. These singles triumphs were highlighted by a dominant 6–1, 6–1 victory by Sherry Li over Virginia Tech’s Carol Kalhoun and by Annie Sullivan ’14’s victory over Virginia Tech sophomore Raluca Mita in straight sets.
In doubles, the team’s success was tempered lightly as it lost two matches against Purdue while attaining only a single victory over the Boilermakers, as Sherry Li and Madeleine Hamilton ’16 trumped Purdue’s Claudia Escribens and Andjela Djokovic 8–5. The Bulldogs did manage to find success against an Ivy League adversary, Penn, as Courtney Amos ’16 and Amber Li ’15 won their doubles matchup 8–6.
On the tournament’s second day, Yale produced mixed results. The Elis struggled as they split matches against Purdue and Penn in singles. While Sullivan suffered a tough loss against Purdue in straight sets, Hamilton, the 2012–’13 ITA women’s tennis rookie of the year, pulled out a hard fought 7–5, 2–6, 6–0 singles win over Penn’s Kana Daniel. Furthermore, while Ree Ree Li ’16 suffered a loss in her singles match against Purdue’s Daniela Vidal, she managed to hang in for the day’s longest individual bout in only her second day of competition since an injury-shortened 2012–’13 season.
In doubles, the Bulldogs won only one of their three matches against Virginia Tech. The day’s doubles highlights came against Dartmouth, as Hanna Yu ’15 and Amos scored an encouraging victory.
On Sunday Oct. 6, the tournament concluded for the Bulldogs as they faced Iowa in doubles and Boston College in singles. Sherry Li continued her strong play in the tournament, as she competed in both the No. 1 singles and doubles matches — and won both.
“Overall, I though the team performed really well for the first tournament of the fall,” head coach Danielle Lund McNamara said. “We played against some strong ACC and Big Ten competition, so it was a good measuring stick to see where we are with our level.”
Caroline Lynch ’17 was encouraged by the team’s performance over the weekend.
“I think the team overall did a really good job this weekend as it was our first tournament of the year,” Lynch said. “We are all really supportive of each other and its great to hear your teammates cheering your name.”
Ree Ree Li was also enthusiastic about the team’s performace following Sunday’s final matchups.
“We all fought and learned a lot from these matches, whether it was a win or a loss,” she said. “As our first tournament back as a team, it was wonderful to be competing alongside each other and we’re looking forward to continue representing Yale at Regionals in a few weeks.”
The Bulldogs will next compete at the ITA Northeast Regionals on Oct. 18 in Cambridge, Mass.