The women’s tennis team started off the year strong with a solid showing at the Yale Invitational Saturday and Sunday.

Among the notable Elis during the weekend’s competition were Aimee Kim ’07, who won the B flight singles draw, and Janet Kim ’09, who reached the finals in A flight singles play. With several players going deep into the draw, the Elis showed they were capable of holding their own against tough competition. Dartmouth, Columbia, Syracuse, Stony Brook and Quinnipiac were among the schools present at this first tournament of the year, hosted by Yale.

The team was satisfied overall with this weekend’s performance, considering this was its season-opening outing and the Elis had limited time to practice.

“I think we did really well for our first time out,” head coach Katie Granson said. “We competed better than we played, but that’s to be expected this early. I’m definitely happy with our effort. We didn’t play scared in our first match and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Aimee Kim did not initially play up to her potential, but she picked up her game as the tournament progressed.

“I didn’t play my best, but I felt myself getting better with each match,” Aimee Kim said. “I was definitely nervous at the beginning, this being our first formal competition of the year. I think eventually, though, I was able to settle down and play my game.”

Kim, the No. 5 seed, began the tourney with a tough 4-6, 6-4, 10-1 win over Syracuse’s Ashley Lipton. She went on to beat teammate and captain Olivia Nix ’07 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals and Columbia’s Kara Worsley 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals en route to the B flight finals. After losing the first set, Kim was able to rally to pull off a 3-6, 6-0, 10-6 win, defeating Columbia’s Lauren Shearer in Sunday’s championship match.

“Aimee came out a little tentative in the final match,” Granson said. “She was a little nervous at the beginning, but I think she started to gain momentum at the end of the first set. She gained some confidence and started stepping up and playing points the way she can.”

Janet Kim also put in an admirable effort this weekend. The freshman proved that she has definite promise, making it to the A flight finals in her first collegiate competition.

“I’m really proud of her play,” Granson said. “She had a chance to win the whole thing.”

The unseeded Kim won her first three matches handily, before falling in a grueling 4-6, 7-5, 10-7 match to the top-seeded Milena Kachar of Columbia in the championship.

“I think I did pretty well,” Janet Kim said. “Before the tournament, I got together with the coaches and made a goal of making the semifinals. I was able to exceed that goal and I’m looking forward to working hard and competing this weekend.”

The Elis travel to Maryland this weekend to take on some tough ACC competition, including Duke, LSU and N.C. State. The caliber of talent will be a step up from this previous weekend and provide some new challenges for the team.

“I think it’s great for the girls to see another level,” Granson said. “It helps them improve and shows them that they can compete with anyone. We’ve had a very promising start to this season and I’m anxious to see our improvement with continued hard work.”

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