TENNIS: Elis split weekend on the road

The weekend proved eventful for Yale tennis as the women’s squad traveled down to Williamsburg to take on Rice and the College of William & Mary. Coming off of a two-match winning streak, the Elis looked to continue their winning ways and create momentum heading into the most important portion of the season: Ivy League tennis.

In Williamsburg, the women’s team faced a heavily favored No. 30 Rice team just a week before the beginning of Ivy League play. In singles, Yale won three of six matchups against Rice as Madeleine Hamilton ’16 led the way with an impressive 6–2, 6–2 straight sets win at the No. 1 spot over Rice’s Natalie Beazant, currently the 72nd-ranked player in the nation. Team captain Annie Sullivan ’14 also posted a decisive straight-sets win, while Sherry Li ’17 pulled out a victory at the No. 5 spot in a difficult three-set match that earned Yale its third and final singles point.

Doubles proved Yale’s downfall as Rice swept the Bulldogs, earning an 8–5 victory over Ree Ree Li ’16 and Hanna Yu ’15, and an 8–6 win over Sullivan and Sherry Li. In the end, Rice, one of the best teams in the country, proved too much for the Bulldogs to handle and they fell 3–4 in a thrilling contest.

“The match against Rice was tough as they’re a very strong team in doubles and singles in all positions,” Caroline Lynch ’17 said. “Everyone had a great match with some tough opponents and fought and competed well on their court.”

Ree Ree Li agreeed with her teammate, adding that she felt personally disappointed in not having won her singles match.

The Elis’ contest against William & Maryproved more favorable: The squad posted an authoritative 6–1 win against an unranked Tribe team. Yale managed to win five of its six singles matches, as Hamilton again led the charge at the No.1 seed, continuing her breakout weekend by posting another straight-sets win. Sullivan had perhaps the most dominant singles win of the day, securing a 6–0, 6–0 straight sets win while denying William & Mary’s Nabila Farah a single game win. Yale’s only dropped point of singles competition came when Ree Ree Li retired in the third set of her then-level match against Mélanie Roy.

“Everyone went out there and did what they needed to do to get their point,” Ree Ree Li said. “We bounced back from the loss against Rice, and finished the weekend with a win.”

In doubles, Yale swept William & Mary. The duo of Sherry Li and Sullivan managed an 8–4 win, while Hamilton and Amber Li ’15 posted a decisive 8–2 victory. Ultimately, Yale finished off its weekend on a high note, taking home five of six available points in singles play against the Tribe and claimed the doubles point.

“Our match against William & Mary was very good all round,” Lynch said. “The girls did a great job of taking the doubles point with great play on all courts.”

Looking ahead at next weekend, Lynch said she and the rest of the team are excited for the start of Ivy League play and noted that the women’s tennis season is just getting started.

The Bulldogs currently sit at No. 52 nationally and have posted an 8–7 overall record.

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