Over their spring break matches in Colorado and California, the women’s tennis team could not catch a break, letting its season record drop to 3-8 as it returns home to head into Ivy League play.
The Elis faced Loyola Marymount (6-9) on March 18 in Los Angeles, Calif., to wrap up spring-break play. Despite winning the doubles point and battling through two three-set matches, the Bulldogs lost, 4-3. The Bulldogs entered the LMU matchup after losing all of the week’s previous matches.
“LMU was our most heartbreaking loss,” captain Lilian Nguyen ’09 said. “But it was also the one that we came away happiest with our performance.”
Lindsey Dashiell ’08 agreed: “It was a tough match; we had a lot of players come back, some tiebreakers, third sets … Our goal was to fight for every point in every match.”
Quick out of the gates, Stevi Petrelli ’11 and Janet Kim ’09 dashed to an early 8-1 victory at No. 2 doubles. Avenging a subsequent loss at No. 1 doubles, the Bulldogs battled to an 8-6 victory at No. 3 on the backs of Nguyen and Dashiell.
Nguyen said the team had focused on its doubles play in practices and has improved notably. She said, however, that the Elis finally settled into their aggressive, play-to-win style during the matchup against LMU.
“We told ourselves, ‘We came here, and we really want this doubles point,” Nguyen said.
In the singles bracket, Yale played with determination but could not pull off enough wins to clinch the match. Jessica Rhee ’10 battled back at No. 2 to win a long three-set match, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. And at No. 4, Petrelli — back on the courts after an injury earlier in the season — defeated her opponent in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
At the No. 1 position, Kim lost in a tiebreaker to LMU’s nationally ranked player, Pavla Mesterova, 6-4, 7-6.
Trading victories at No. 3, Lindsay Clark ’11 and opponent Tina Razloznik ended in a tense third set with Clark’s loss, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1.
Back at home, the Elis will challenge UMass on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Woodbridge, Conn., before heading into Ivy League play against Brown on March 30.
“We could have done better over break,” Nguyen said. “But we will take the negatives as motivation. Now we are hungry for a win.”