The women’s tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory Tuesday over its lesser Massachusetts rival, Boston University.
Nationally-ranked No. 54 Yale (12-3, 1-2 Ivy) is fifth in the Ivy League, which is topped by No. 18 Harvard (15-3, 5-0), No. 39 University of Pennsylvania (12-4, 3-0) and No. 61 Brown (9-4, 0-1).
Eli captain Biffy Kaufman ’03 dominated her opponent at No. 1 singles, winning 6-0, 6-0. The win may help Kaufman’s chance of qualifying for the NCAA individual tournament.
“Maybe it will help,” Kaufman said. “I know she had a good win over BC’s No. 1 player, who is supposed to good.”
With Karlyn Martin ’04 out with a slight knee injury, Kaufman teamed with Susie Hiniker ’03 for the Bulldogs’ No. 1 doubles team. Margaret Purcell ’04 and Ashley Martin ’04 moved to No. 2 doubles. Though Hiniker and Kaufman had not played together before, they easily won, 8-2.
“Because Karlyn [Martin] wasn’t in the lineup, that sort of left us trying to find new teams during this match,” Hiniker said.
Purcell/Martin won 8-0, and Boston defaulted the No. 3 doubles position because of injuries. Hiniker said the team is expecting Karlyn Martin to return for Yale’s next match against Cornell on Friday.
Head coach Chad Skorupka has tinkered more extensively with the doubles squads recently, and Kaufman said the variability helped Yale.
“It’s good,” Kaufman said. “We’re very versatile. We can work with a lot of different combinations. Sometimes if one’s not working, we can switch to another plan, and know we can win with that. Today, we had to throw some teams together, but we still won both doubles matches. We know to always to be ready to play with anyone.”
Today’s Boston match was the first the Elis played outdoors since their spring break trip to California. Hiniker said the team’s outdoor practice time has been limited.
“The most interesting thing about the match was that it was really windy,” she said. “So the points were different than your standard points. But our team is pretty scrappy, so I think we do well in tough conditions.”
Kaufman agreed that playing outside was a positive.
“I liked the outdoor conditions,” she said. “It was conducive to my game. It was a little windy, and I liked playing in the wind. The wind can sometimes play a big factor in the serve, and you have to get used to it. But you can either use it to your advantage, or you can let it hurt your game.”
Hiniker said it took a while to acclimate to the outdoors, but she said she did not think Yale was at a particular disadvantage against other regional teams.
“The weather around the East Coast has been pretty bad this spring,” Hiniker said. “So I think most teams have been stuck inside like us. But it’s always more fun to be outside: That’s where tennis is meant to be played.”
The Bulldogs host Cornell (2-10, 0-4) Friday and Columbia (9-6, 2-3) the following day. “Columbia is supposed to be tougher,” Kaufman said. “But any Ivy match is always a tough match.”
Both players and coaches know that each of Yale’s next five matches is vital in making the NCAA tournament.