After getting their feet wet in the first competition of the fall season, members of the Yale women’s tennis team will go swimming with some big fish this weekend.

In their first trip away from home, the Elis will travel to College Park, Md. for some tough ACC competition at the Maryland Invitational. Among the notable schools present will be the University of North Carolina, which finished 11th in the nation last season, and head coach Katie Granson’s alma mater, Duke, which finished last season 17th in the nation.

The Tar Heels had an especially successful opening weekend at the St. Mary’s classic, as all four singles players finished in the top five. Junior Jenna Long, ranked No. 108 in the nation, lost in the championship round of Flight A singles and freshman Austin Smith won Flight B in singles.

Duke will also pose a difficult challenge for the Bulldogs, with top-caliber players in senior Julia Smith and junior Tory Zawacki. Both were All-ACC selections as freshmen, and have enjoyed success throughout their collegiate careers.

The level of talent in this tournament will be a significant step up in comparison to last weekend. The Elis recognize the better competition will prove to be challenging, but are excited at the prospect of proving themselves.

Aimee Kim ’07, who captured the B flight singles crown at the Yale Invitational last weekend, feels the team is prepared to take on its formidable ACC foes at the tournament.

“I definitely think we’re ready,” Kim said. “It’ll be nice to see the results of our hard work and how we stack up against some of the best competition out there.”

Last weekend’s solid play earned the Bulldogs two days off this week. But after their short rest, the practices proved to be intense once again and good preparation for the upcoming weekend.

Janet Kim ’09, the second-place finisher in A flight singles play last weekend, hopes that the team will continue its success in Maryland.

“We’ve really been working hard,” Janet Kim said. “We know there’s going to be a lot of good teams there, but we’re more excited than nervous. Playing against better players helps us improve as well.”

The Elis will take a “fight for every point” attitude going into this weekend.

“I’m really happy with our play so far,” Janet Kim said. “I feel we learned a lot and got familiar with competing.”

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