The women’s tennis team aced their spring opener.
Defeating UConn 7-0 at Cullman Courts this Tuesday, the Bulldogs wasted no time in sweeping up points. The No. 1 doubles team, twins Ashley Martin ’04 and Karlyn Martin ’04, set the pace, defeating Whitney Simcik and Alison Adamski, 8-2.
“I think yesterday was a good first match,” captain Karlyn Martin said. “We had to play well to win, but at the same time we could get our strokes grooved and work on getting the rust off from the long break. All of us definitely have room for improvement, but for the first match we played pretty well.”
Christine Alford ’07 at No. 1 singles walked off the court after a quick 6-1, 6-0 win.
“I thought what was good about the match was that the opponents weren’t making a lot of errors — it was each individual Yale player who was setting up the point and finishing the point,” Yale head coach Chad Skorupka said. “What stood out is everybody concentrated on their courts and played their opponents with respect, beat them and got off the court.”
Skorupka did mention, however, that No. 3 singles player, Reshmi Srinath ’05, was more challenged by her opponent but ended up winning 6-2, 6-2.
“I felt that I played pretty well,” Srinath said. “I think the key was that I stayed focused throughout the whole match. My opponent was very solid, and she made me work for every point.”
Despite some hard points, Skorupka and his players all felt that UConn was a good team to begin the season against, as it was a relatively easy match.
“UConn is a team from the Big East, and they’re not in the national rankings now,” Skorupka said. “That’s how we want to schedule the first match of the season — you want to get one match under your belt.”
Srinath also noted the Eli’s supremacy against the Huskies.
“I think we overwhelmed UConn with the depth of our lineup,” Srinath said. “Everyone fought to win each and every point, and it showed in our dominating match scores.”
Younger players on the team also appreciated starting the season off with a lighter challenge.
“It’s always hard getting back into the match-playing mind-set, but we were steady and smart in our singles and doubles matches,” Rashmee Patil ’07 said.
To stay in the game mode over the winter, the Elis have been practicing daily since their first allowed practice date, January 15. In addition to their practices, the team has been working with assistant coach Maren Haus on strength training Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Like the men’s team, the women have not solely been using conventional methods of lifting weights but have focused on core body strength, stretching and sprinting.
“Lots of work has been put in to have a successful season,” Skorupka said.
The relatively young team — three freshmen were featured in Tuesday’s lineup — is confident in its abilities for continuing its accomplishments this season.
“I’m very optimistic,” Karlyn Martin said. “I think we have a really good bunch of girls. We get along very well, and we’re very even [on the court] — one through nine are all very comparable. That’s definitely going to be one of our biggest strengths this season.”
The Bulldogs face a tough schedule this spring, culminating with Ivy play in April.
“Our season builds up to the Ivy season, but before that we play a very competitive Big Ten schedule,” Skorupka said. “We want to be successful on a national level and at an Ivy level.”
With a strong start and a strong team, the Bulldogs are prepared and eager for the challenges ahead of them.
“If everybody stays healthy I think good things will happen,” Skorupka said.