Veteran Eli steel combined with fresh verve to serve up a resounding win over Boston University in the spring opener for the women’s tennis team. After an unimpressive scrimmage against Harvard on Friday, the Bulldogs stormed the courts in Boston on Saturday and gained confidence to propel them through the season.
Under the guidance of first-year coach Chad Skorupka, the No. 57 Bulldogs trounced BU 6-1 to set the stage for the spring 2002 campaign.
“For the first dual match of the season, I am very happy with the performance. We scrimmaged Harvard the night before and were a little flat. I told them that [Saturday] was our big test,” said Skorupka.
Yale began the day by winning two out of three doubles matches to secure the doubles point.
Captain Liz Oosterhuis ’02 teamed up with Susie Hiniker ’02 against Elena deMendoza and Hannah Bartell to win 8-1 in a quick, lopsided victory. The formidable Eli duo played a high intensity match in which they varied the balls and drove their opponents around the court.
Andrea Goldberg ’02 and Biffy Kaufman ’03 lost to Christina Causeway and Lyndsey Dynof 9-8 in a tight pro set that could have tipped either way. Both teams played doggedly in a high-level doubles game.
The doubles point was sealed, nonetheless, after twins Ashley and Karlyn Matrin ’04 won an 8-4 duel against Alana Marcu and Silvia Guglielmi. After Karlyn’s fall season was shortened by an appendectomy, the identical sisters are cementing themselves as an impressive force this spring.
“The twins are always a solid doubles team and they showed that this weekend,” Oosterhuis said. “They were the only team to compete against the Harvard doubles teams, and they won easily against BU’s No. 3 pair.”
The Bulldogs carried the momentum gained from the 1-0 lead into singles play. Margaret Purcell ’04, Stephanie White ’05, Hiniker and Oosterhuis all won in straight sets.
“After winning the first set I had a slight letdown and I was down 1-2,” Oosterhuis said. “But I kept my patience and won the second set handily. My coach helped me keep my composure.”
In the final singles win, Kaufman played a grueling game against Lyndsey Dynof.
Known for her shot placement and great volley control, Kaufman won her match in a third-set super tiebreaker 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.
Andrea Goldberg ’02, a recent winner of the Henry Fellowship, lost a toughly contested singles match to Christina Causeway 6-4, 7-6.
Overall, the team dropped only three singles sets.
Last fall, Skorupka told his team to aim for the Ivy Championship, which would give the Bulldogs an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. It seemed like a lofty goal at the time, but the immense talent and deep roster is proving itself early. If the opener is any indication, the team may have its best season in 13 years.