The Yale women’s tennis team closed its fall season in disappointing fashion this weekend, finishing with a 7–17 record across two separate tournaments.
Three Bulldogs traveled with head coach Danielle McNamara to New Hampshire, where they competed in the Big Green Invitational against Dartmouth, Missouri, Penn State and Purdue. Two other members of the team, accompanied by assistant coach Brooke Bolender, played in the Brown Classic against the likes of Arizona, Arkansas, Boston College, Utah and Brown. These competitions marked the end of the fall season for the Elis, who competed in a total of seven tournaments in the past two months.
“It’s definitely unusual to have such a small travel squad,” Caroline Lynch ’17 said. “The best part of being on a team is having all your teammates with you and playing next to them and fighting for each other. But it was good to have more time with our coach. She got to watch us play all of our matches so we had time to work on our individual games.”
Yale started out cold on Friday at the Big Green Invitational, as the Bulldogs could only collect one win in seven tries against Purdue and Missouri. Sherry Li ’17 and Sunday Swett ’18 joined Lynch in Hanover and teamed up for the lone win on the first day of play. The senior-junior combo took down Natalia Davila and Alex Sabe of Purdue in a 6–4 doubles set. However, Yale lost its two other doubles matches on Friday by identical scores of 6–2.
Singles play did not offer much consolation as Li, Lynch and Swett dropped all four of the singles matches that day. The closest effort came in a three-set nailbiter that ended in a tiebreaker when Missouri’s Amina Ismail defeated Li 6–4, 4–6, 7–6(4).
The Yale contingent at Brown fared much better as Amy Yang ’19 and Elizabeth Zordani ’18 faced off against Arkansas, a rare opponent from the Southeastern Conference. Yang finished off an Arkansas opponent 6–2, 2–6, 10–8 while Zordani added an elusive double-bagel performance to her resume as she defeated her opponent 6–0, 6–0. The lone blemish of the day came when Yang and Zordani dropped a 6–2 set to Peyton Jennings and Sasha Shkorupeieva of the Razorbacks in doubles play.
“Usually we just play teams in the Northeast, so it was great to be able to compete against players from different regions,” Yang said. “You don’t know what to expect from a whole new opponent that you’ve never seen before, so that’s pretty exciting and helps prepare you for anything in the future.”
Yang’s teammates at Dartmouth also played against unfamiliar foes from the SEC when they took on Missouri during the second day of play.
Li comfortably defeated Missouri’s Tate Schroeder 6–3, 6–3 while Lynch and Swett teamed up for a doubles win to make up for their singles losses. Lynch and Swett both dropped their singles matches by tie-broken scores of 6–1, 7–6 before overcoming a Tigers’ doubles team 6–3.
“I think my aggressive style is suited for doubles,” Swett said. “We’ve been working a lot on doubles in practice, and I saw it come through in the match. The formations and patterns we’ve been working on were really utilized in the matches, so doubles was definitely a strong point.”
On the flip side, the Bulldogs could not repeat their winning ways from day one at the Brown Classic. Yang and Zordani both lost their individual singles matches before dropping their doubles match against the Bears in a tight 7–6(3) set.
The final day of play at both tournaments came with a lot of close scores but ultimately resulted in just two total wins for the Elis. In New Hampshire, Yale dropped both of its matches to the hosts, as Lynch lost 8–1 to Dartmouth’s Racquel Lyn, and the team of Li and Lynch fell 6–4 to a Big Green tandem.
Still, Li was able to squeeze out a close singles victory over Missouri’s Mackenzy Middlebrooks 7–6(3), 6–4. Lynch likewise played a competitive match against Kadi Fauble, Middlebrooks’ teammate, but ultimately lost 6–2, 3–6, 10–8.
Yale also struggled while concluding play in Rhode Island, with Zordani losing handily to Jena Chang of Utah by a line of 6–0, 6–2. Yang tried to turn around the singles results on Sunday but fell just short, losing 6–4, 6–7, 10–7 to the Utes’ Taylor Calton
Yang and Zordani teamed up one last time to close out the fall season and came out victorious with a 6–3 triumph over Utah.
“There weren’t a whole lot of wins in the weekend,” Lynch said. “But every match that we lost was really close and that speaks a lot to our competitiveness as a team and our ability to stay in the match even when things don’t go to plan. We found a way to bring it to a third set or a tiebreaker whenever we could.”
The Elis now enter a brief offseason before returning to competitive play on Jan. 19 with an indoor scrimmage against Brown.