The Yale women’s tennis team fought hard but fell in two 6–1 losses this weekend against defending Ivy tri-champions Dartmouth and Harvard.
Over the weekend, the Bulldogs (6–14, 0–3 Ivy) took on the Big Green (8–10, 1–2) and the Crimson (11–8, 3–0), each time to no avail. Against Dartmouth, the Elis posted a sole singles win, while against Harvard, the Elis snagged the doubles point after being shutout in the singles. The results propelled Harvard to the top of the Ivy League rankings as Yale falls into a tie for seventh with Cornell and Dartmouth tied for fifth.
“There were definitely some battles waging in both matches this weekend,” captain Sunday Swett ’18 said. “And even though we didn’t get the W’s, I’m proud of the effort and work everyone has been putting in.”
Dartmouth came out swinging in Friday’s match. The Big Green clinched the doubles point and proceeded to dominate the afternoon. Dartmouth prevailed 6–1 at both No. 1 and No. 2 against Valerie Skhlover ’18 and Amy Yang ’19 and Samantha Martinelli ’21 and Swett, respectively. This was the first time Martinelli and Swett had played No. 2 doubles.
In singles, Dartmouth continued to impress, winning all but one of the matches. In four consecutive victories, the Big Green secured the match and its first conference win this season. First years No. 1 Martinelli and No. 4 Lauren Gillinov ’21 posted matching losses of 6–3, 6–1. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also lost at No. 5 and No. 6 and Dartmouth had two matches with players posting a set with a 6–0 shutout. Despite the turnout, the players remained positive.
“The team fought really hard and had high energy throughout the match,” Martinelli said. “It was really great to see the team compete so hard.”
No. 2 Yang fought to a third-set tiebreaker after winning the first set 7–5 and then falling in the second set 3–6. However, she came up just short in the tie-break, scoring just eight to her opponent’s 10. The Elis got on the scoreboard with a win at No. 3 as Valerie Shklover defeated her opponent 6–4, 6–3. But the sole victory was not enough, as Dartmouth had already accumulated five wins. The match finished 6–1 to Dartmouth.
In Sunday’s match against the Crimson, the Elis won the doubles point with victories by No. 1 Martinelli and Elizabeth Zordani ’18, 6–1 and No. 3 Gillinov and Caroline Amos ’18, 6–3. Yale ultimately managed to tally only a doubles point, however, as Harvard went on to sweep the singles matches and post a 6–1 win.
Although Harvard won all six singles matches, two matches went to third sets and another two were also closely contested. Martinelli fell at the No. 1 spot 6–4, 7–6 match, while Swett came up short by the same tally at No. 6. Both No. 3 Shklover and No. 5 Zordani fought to three sets, but each lost — 2–6, 6–1, 6–0 and 6–2, 5–7, 10–2, respectively.
At No. 2, Yang lost 6–1, 6–2 to a woman who had played at No.1 for Harvard in January, while No. 4 first-year Gillinov lost 6–0, 6–1 her senior opponent.
“We’ve got another great chance this weekend against Princeton and Penn, and I think it comes down to believing in our ability to pull these matches out,” Swett said. “We’ve had it done by different people on different days, but if we can get that kind of high, positive intensity from every court this upcoming weekend then I know we’ve got a good shot!”
The Bulldogs’ next matchup is against Princeton this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Cate Sawkins | email@example.com