Fresh off of a strong end to its spring break tour down South, an optimistic Yale women’s tennis team went on yet another road trip this past weekend.
But Boston proved less kind than North Carolina, as the Elis fell to two Beantown opponents. On Saturday, No. 46 Boston College soundly defeated the Elis 7-0, and on Sunday the Bulldogs (5-8) fell to Boston University 5-2.
“This weekend was disappointing,” Rashmee Patil ’07 said. “It’s never fun to lose.”
BC has been playing extremely well of late, posting upsets against such top-ranked teams as Oklahoma State and Harvard, and Yale could not stop the Eagles’ momentum. The Elis picked up one win in the loss, an 8-5 victory from the number two doubles team of Patil and Aimee Kim ’07.
But the 7-0 loss is deceptive. In the third doubles slot, the Bulldog team of Reshmi Srinath ’05 and Olivia Nix ’07 could not hold on to a 5-2 lead and came up short by only one break 8-6, and the first doubles team of captain Karlyn Martin ’04 and twin Ashley Martin ’04 lost 8-3 to a team that they had beaten in the past.
Three singles matches also went to three sets: Srinath lost an early one-set advantage en route to falling 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 at the third spot; number four player Ashley Martin lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; and Patil fell at the fifth spot by the final tally of 6-3, 6-7 (8), 1-0 (4). All told, a few games going the other way could have resulted in a 4-3 Bulldog win.
“The match was definitely closer than the score indicates,” Karlyn Martin said. “We almost won the doubles point, and if we get one or two singles matches right away, then the match starts getting tighter, and play is much different when matches are closer. But it wasn’t the case, and they came out on top.”
The Elis fared slightly better the next day, losing at nearby Boston University by the final mark of 5-2. Stephanie White ’05 took the lone singles win for the Bulldogs, coming out on top 8-2 at the number six spot. Yale also won the doubles point on victories from the number one team of the Martin twins, 8-6, and the second spot team of Patil and Kim, who notched their second win of the weekend with an 8-4 victory.
Overall, the Elis seemed frustrated at losing two matches that they have proven themselves capable of winning in the past. Yale beat both BC and BU last year.
“The losses were disappointing,” Karlyn Martin said. “They are both solid teams, but if we had played to our full potential, we felt like we could have beaten them.”
Many Bulldogs contested that the play of the Eagles and the Terriers were not the only factors involved in this weekend’s losses.
“The playing environment was tough to get used to at both BC and BU and favored our opponents,” Srinath said. “BC’s courts were extremely fast and you really had to focus on keeping the ball deep and not getting on the defensive. BU’s courts were really slow and there were a lot of weird bounces.”
The Elis have this weekend off before they begin to enter the home stretch — seven remaining contests, all against their Ivy rivals. The Ancient Eight matches start in a week and a half, when the Elis face Princeton on April 9 and Penn on April 10. The No. 35 Quakers (11-3, 1-0 Ivy) sit atop the Ivy League and have been having an extremely strong season, defeating several ranked opponents to post their highest ranking in school history (No. 30, in early March), and while the Tigers (4-8) have not fared so well in 2004, they have won their last two contests.
“Every Ivy League match this season will be a battle,” Yale head coach Chad Skorupka said. “There is a lot of parity this season within the league. Penn is in the top 40 and Princeton is struggling a little but every match will be tough. We will be successful if we come out with a lot of energy and focus.”