After a dip in wins since mid-February, Yale women’s tennis team is looking to build on the momentum of its three-match winning streak over spring break in its upcoming Ivy League matches.
The Elis (8–8, 0–0 Ivy) began their spring break with a trip to San Diego. Despite putting up a good fight, the Blue and White team dropped two closely contested matchups 4–3 against No. 37 USD (9–2, 0–0 WCC) and San Diego State (9–7, 0–0 Mountain West) on March 16 and 19, respectively. However, these losses did not slow the Bulldogs down, who remained dogged in their pursuit for a win. The team wrapped up its trip to the west coast with an impressive 5–2 win against Colorado State (7–6, 0–1 Mountain West). After traveling back to New Haven for its final two matches over break, the Bulldogs defeated both Boston University (6–8, 1–0 Patriot) and UMass (10–3, 1–0 Atlantic 10) to secure their third victory in a row.
“I thought that the team did a tremendous job in the matches over spring break” Sarah Cameron ’21 said. “We had a really great showing against some tough California schools, which was very encouraging.”
The Bulldogs narrowly missed a win over USD during their first match in San Diego. With the score tied at 3–3, Maria Tyrina managed to clinch a win over Kathy Wang ’22 in a heated battle, which included two tiebreakers and ended with a score of 7–6 (4), 6–7 (9), 6–4. A few days later, the Elis again fell short to San Diego State, who got off to an early lead. The Aztecs claimed the doubles point to start out the competition and claimed the match, with Abbie Mulbarger defeating Amy Yang ’19 6–3, 3–6, 6–1.
Ready to get a shot at redemption, the Elis swung at Colorado State during the last matchup in San Diego. Fueled by the recent closely contested duels, Yale defeated the Rams 5–2. Colorado was able to clinch the doubles point, but the Elis refused to let up, winning five out of six singles matches. Samantha Martinelli ’21 destroyed Emily Luetschwager, an impressive player who went 20–9 last season, 6–4, 6–0.
After their epic turn around in San Diego, the Elis continued to conquer their competition — this time on their home courts at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in West Haven.
On Saturday, Yale knocked out Boston University 5–2. On court two, Martinelli and Caroline Amos ’19 bested Emily Kim and Shelly Yaloz 7–6 (4). On court three, Raissa Lou ’22 and Wang defeated Katya Martens and Sabrina Faybyshev 6–2. By winning two out of the three doubles matches, Yale secured the doubles point. The Bulldogs went on to clinch four singles duels, only falling to the Terriers twice.
Motivated by this win, the streak continued with a victory over UMass 7–0. The Bulldogs won all six of the singles matches as well as the doubles point. The Bulldogs’ streak of wins is sure to propel Yale into the next phase of competition.
“Ending on a three-match win streak gives us great momentum going into the Ivy season,” Cameron said. “We have worked so hard all year long to prepare for this final portion of our season, and I am really excited to see where it takes us.”
The UMass victory represents the last of the nonconference matches. The Bulldogs begin their Ivy matches against Brown in Providence, Rhode Island, next weekend.
Margaret Hedeman | email@example.com