Very little has slowed the women’s tennis team since its initial misstep against Pennsylvania April 6. Since that first Ivy loss, Yale has dealt mercilessly with its opponents, reeling off a string of victories.
Brown (7-11, 1-4 Ivy) became Yale’s fourth straight Ivy League victim Tuesday, when the Bulldogs defeated the Bears 4-3 in a match that was not nearly as close as the score seems to indicate.
For the third dual match in a row, No. 60 Yale (11-5, 4-1) overcame outside distractions with purposeful focus. The teams started on Brown’s outdoor courts, only to be interrupted mid-match by cold rain and gusting winds. The players continued their matches inside under dim lights and on faster playing surfaces.
But as the Elis headed to the indoor courts, they had already taken two of the three doubles matches to win the first team point. The No. 1 doubles duo Andrea Goldberg ’02 and Biffy Kaufman ’03 started the Elis off with an 8-2 win over Irene Adusar and Heather Young. The Yale pair played cautiously to avoid mistakes caused by forcing difficult shots in windy weather.
“Andrea and Biffy played such a smart doubles match,” head coach Meghan McMahon said. “They beat a tough team.”
Karlyn and Ashley Martin ’04 clinched the team point by beating Lauren Cheung and Maria Elena de Valle 8-5. The twins are 3-2 against Ivy League competition. Margaret Purcell ’04 and Susie Hiniker ’02 lost their match 8-2 to Caroline Casey and Priscilla Zeff.
In singles action, the Bulldogs used three decisive individual victories to secure the team’s win. Kaufman won 6-1, 6-0 versus Bridget Barbera, and Liz Oosterhuis ’02 defeated Zeff 6-2, 6-0 for two quick team points.
“Biffy Kaufman and Liz Oosterhuis played singles with tremendous confidence, starting strong and never looking back, even when they were moved to the indoor courts in the middle of their matches.” McMahon said.
Purcell clinched the Bulldog win by easily handling Adusar 6-2, 6-4. Adusar managed to keep it somewhat close by mixing up her shot selections.
“It was hard to get a rhythm,” Purcell said. “Sometimes we’d be hitting deep, heavy topspin for 20 balls, and other points she’d go for a hard, flat winner really early in the point.”
The Elis lost two three-set singles matches — Goldberg dropped hers 3-6, 6-2, 1-0(7) to Young, and Hiniker lost 7-6(5), 3-6,1-0(3) to Casey. In both matches, the third set was an abbreviated one-game tiebreaker — a new rule implemented by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to speed up dual matches. Unfortunately, this means that after hours of work it is possible for a win to slip away in minutes.
Karlyn Martin did not have to finish her match off with a tiebreaker. When Yale claimed the dual match victory with its fourth team point, Martin forfeited so the Bulldogs could travel home to get some rest before their final two contests. Martin was leading at the time of her forfeit 7-6(5).
Yale plays at Harvard Friday before finishing out its season at home against Dartmouth April 22.