For Lindsey Dashiell ’08, this fall season wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Unable to compete because of a debilitating back injury, she spent her time instead watching her team from the sidelines and doing rehab. But this weekend marked an exciting turning point for Dashiell, who was finally able to compete with the team.
But Dashiell’s return was not the only good news this weekend. Dashiell and the rest of her teammates capped the end of a successful fall season with matches against Brown and Boston College. The two-day Brown Classic, which took place in Providence, R.I., featured eight singles and four doubles matches each day.
The Bulldogs performed outstandingly on Saturday, winning three of the four doubles matches and five singles matches. Rashmee Patil’s ’07 loss to Alina Sullivan of Boston College, 6-2, 6-4, however, was a disappointment. The team did not fare as well Sunday, as Yale broke even in doubles and only won two singles matches.
But the Elis and Yale head coach Katie Granson stressed that the official scores are not important and Sunday’s performance was not indicative of this season.
“I’m not very worried about the results,” Granson said. “It was a very relaxed tournament. The team has performed very well this season.”
Tenacity is one aspect of the Bulldogs’ play that has improved lately. Granson said the players have become more aggressive towards the end of the season, stepping up to get the short ball.
The format of the Invitational, called a “hidden duel,” is characteristic of the fall season, where the matches count towards players’ individual records and not towards the collective team record.
Janet Kim ’09 said she was happy with her overall performance, especially in singles. On Saturday, she defeated Sara Mansur of Brown, 6-4, 6-3. The following day, she beat Daisy Ames of Brown, 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Along with her doubles partner, Dashiell, she clobbered Brett Finkelstein and Sara Mansur of Brown, 8-3. But on Sunday, they succumbed to Ames and Amanda Saiontz of Brown, 8-6.
“We could have definitely won that last match,” Kim said. “It was the second time we’ve played together. We need to forget about the mistakes and focus on the next point.”
The disappointment of the loss was overshadowed by the excitement of Dashiell rejoining the team.
“It was the first time I competed all season, so it was a lot of fun for me,” Dashiell said.
Captain Olivia Nix ’06 agreed that the tournament went well for the Bulldogs, but she was more critical of her own performance. Nix and her partner, Patil, were defeated in doubles by Szilvia Szegedi and Sullivan of Boston College, 9-7. But they were victorious the next day against Bears Kelley Kirkpatrick and Ashley Pariser, 8-4.
“Most of the team played really well and came away feeling good about their progress from the fall,” Nix said in an e-mail.
The team looks forward to continuing their season at the end of January, when they return to Brown for a scrimmage.
“The tournaments are very individual [in the fall] so we are all looking forward to competing more as a team,” said Nix.
The Bulldogs have set their expectations high and their paramount goal is to win the Ivy League.
“The fact is that we want to beat the most prepared team,” Granson said.
The teams in the Ivy League have strengthened over the past years, with Harvard leading the pack, along with Penn and Princeton as challengers for the Championship. But after the great start that the Bulldogs have put up, no goal may seem too lofty.