This past weekend, the women’s tennis team traveled to Houston, Tex. for the three-day Rice Tennis Classic Tournament, which featured seven other schools.

Eli Olivia Nix ’07 came away with the White Singles bracket title, while Christine Alford ’07 and Lindsey Dashiell ’08 beat teammates Reshmi Srinath ’05 and Juliette Vartikar ’06 in the final to win the Gray Doubles bracket.

“Overall the team battled hard,” Yale head coach Chad Skorupka said. “We competed against Northwestern, Rice, TCU, Baylor and SMU, which are all strong teams. By the end of the tournament, [our players] were all pretty tired. They left it on the tennis courts.”

In the White Singles bracket, Yale’s Olivia Nix ’07 played a close match in the semifinals against Rice’s Dominique Karas 7-6, 6-4 to reach the finals, but was ousted by Northwestern’s Kristi Roemer in the championship match on Sunday, 6-3, 6-3.

Skorupka said several referees were so impressed by Nix’s performance in the semifinals over Rice Saturday that they approached him Sunday to congratulate her.

“I really wanted to win that game,” Nix said. “It was a long day, and [the victory] really helped my confidence on the court. It was also good to be back playing tennis since I got hurt last year.”

In the Gray Doubles bracket, both Bulldog pairs advanced to set up an all-Yale final. In the end, Alford and Dashiell overcame their teammates Reshmi Srinath ’05 and Vartikar 9-8 (7-2).

In the semifinals, Srinath and Vartikar defeated their TCU opponents 8-4, while Alford and Dashiell dispatched their Lee College foes in a thrilling 9-8 (7-1).

In the Blue Singles bracket, the top singles draw at the tournament, Yale’s top two players — Srinath and Alford — both played solid games. Srinath defeated Rice’s Tracie Chong in the first round before falling to Northwestern’s Cristelle Grier 6-1, 6-1 in the second round. Alford dropped her first-round match to the Baylor’s Zuzana Krchnakova in three sets 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.

In the Gray Singles bracket, the second singles draw, Rashmee Patil ’07 advanced to the semifinals with a comfortable win over Melissa Bere of TCU, 6-1, 6-4, and a come-from-behind three-set battle against Northwestern’s Jamie Peisel, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4. But Patil came up short against Peisel’s teammate Andrea Yung in the semis, losing 6-3, 6-3. Yung then went on to win the bracket for the Wildcats.

Yale captain Stephanie White ’05 also played in the Gray Singles bracket, and despite an injury won the consolation bracket over Texas-San Antonio’s Tanya Hasking 6-1, 6-1.

“[White] kept on plugging along despite having to serve underhand the last two days because of a sore shoulder,” Skorupka said.

In the Blue Doubles bracket, Patil and partner Aimee Kim ’07 won each of their first two games with scores of 8-2. The pair first defeated a team from Texas-San Antonio, and then ousted a pair from Northwestern, but lost to another pair from Northwestern 8-4 in the semifinals.

“[Kim] probably played some of the best doubles I have seen in a long time,” Skorupka said. “She and [Patil] did well getting to the semifinals.”

Having competed the last two weekends, the Bulldogs will now take a short break before playing their first and only team tournament of the fall on Oct. 9 — the Ivy Fall Challenge. It will be a “scout” session for all the competing schools for the spring, but since it is still very early in the year, there will still be plenty of room for improvement regardless of the outcome.

“We will approach this tournament like all the other tournaments,” White said. “We are a unique team in that we are especially close this year, despite the fact that we are all competing for the same spots in the line up. Because of the team dynamic this year, we will have no problem switching from individual tournaments to a team format.”

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