The Yale women’s tennis team closed out their fall season with a solid performance on home courts at the Yale Invitational last weekend. The tournament hosted Penn State, Quinnipiac, Fairfield, Boston University and Syracuse.
Lindsey Clark ’11 and Vicki Brook ’12 won two of the three singles flights. Lauren Ritz ’11 and Janet Kim ’09, and Lilian Nguyen ’09 and Sarah Lederhandler ’10 won their respective doubles flights, leading the Bulldogs to a total of four of six victories in the tournament.
“I thought overall we competed well as a team,” Stevi Petrelli ’11 said. “It was great to have so many people make it so far. I think we ended on a high note and we’re looking forward to working hard in the off-season for the spring.”
Equally as exciting as their victories in the tournament was the dedication ceremony of the brand new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center held Saturday. Yale alumni came to New Haven to see the women play in their last tournament before their eight-week hiatus.
“[The dedication] was a very eye-opening experience for us [because we saw] what Yale tennis is all about,” Lauren Ritz ’11 said. “We don’t just play for our teammates and our coaches; we play for everyone who has ever worn a Yale jersey.”
It seemed that this weekend was a great opportunity for the women of the team not only to end their season well, but also to reflect on the entire fall term.
After only four tournaments this season, the Elis have found the weak spots and the strong points they plan to work on in order snatch an Ivy League title in the spring.
“Overall, I thought the fall was good,” head coach Danielle McNamara said. “We worked really hard, we made a lot of individual improvements. Worked on our fitness, our doubles improved. I hope that the women will really commit themselves over the next two months because when we get back here in January, things will pick up a lot. I’m looking forward to that part of the season and seeing where we are.”
With the end of the season also comes the end of practices, according to Ivy League rules. Starting Nov. 10, the coaches will no longer be allowed to call practices; it will be up to the women to be motivated to practice on their own.
This could present concerns for the team, but McNamara said she is confident that the women will make good decisions about their independent training. The first choice to make, for most of the team members, will be to rest.
“The women need to rest after the intense fall season,” she said. “But we’ve gotten this far for a reason. I think that they’ll keep it up. We’ll be able to tell for sure who has done what when we get back in January for conditioning.”
The women will take advantage of their new courts this winter while training for their first scrimmage Jan. 18th against Brown.