The Bulldogs’ victory yesterday against Brown was a particularly sweet end to the 2005-06 season.
Yale women’s tennis (9-9, 4-3 Ivy) was finally able to move forward from the inconsistencies and false starts that characterized the earlier part of the season to beat Brown (5-13, 1-6) decisively, 5-2. For their last three matches of this season, the Elis adopted a slightly different attitude toward their opponents, Harvard, Dartmouth and yesterday’s foe, Brown.
“We really focused on playing to win as opposed to playing not to lose, on playing with heart, fearlessly,” Christina Cutter ’09 said. “Everyone went out there wanting it a lot.”
While team members said there was no special preparation in practices for this match specifically, they said it was especially important for them to finish well and to beat Brown in their last competition of the season. On top of that, the Bulldogs were eager to even the score against the Bears, who beat them in last season’s final competition. Approaching this match, the Elis were wary of Brown’s potential to tarnish their season finale.
“It was a team we’ve played twice already. We knew they had just lost to Dartmouth, but they also beat BU, who we lost to. From our experience they were not a team to be taken lightly, and everyone wanted to end on a good note, so everyone really focused,” Janet Kim ’09 said.
This match was also the final one for Yale head coach Katie Granson, who will be moving on next year.
The afternoon was not without standout performances. Janet Kim barely lost to her Brown opponent, 7-6, in an intense first set, but came back to dominate the second, at one point leading the set, 5-0. She ultimately took the match. That victory was the culmination of an undefeated Ivy season for Kim, who alternated playing at the No. 2 and 3 singles spots for the Elis.
Other notable performances included No. 1 doubles and No. 4 singles, where Ashley Miles ’08 competed.
“No. 1 doubles [of Rashmee Patil ’07 and Olivia Nix ’07] was playing extremely well, going after balls, being all over the court, not letting the team get any chance. They were playing pretty well today,” Janet Kim said. “Ashley Miles was playing next to me, and she just swept her entire match and killed her opponent.”
Patil and Nix beat their opponents, 8-1, and Miles beat hers, 6-1, 6-1.
Cutter said the team is optimistic about next year, especially because teams that have been perennial Ivy powerhouses, like Harvard and Penn, are losing at least three players each, while Yale will return everyone from this year’s squad and add two new recruits to fill out the roster next year. The Bulldogs also finished third in the Ivy League, which leaves them with considerable momentum and confidence to enter next season.
“Today’s match was good. Across the board, everyone played well,” said Dashiell. “We were all on the same level today, the same page. I think it was a great season. We just had great preparation that translated into great play on the court; it was fun to watch, and fun to be a part of.”