The Yale women’s tennis team faced an up-and-down weekend in its efforts to maintain its undefeated conference record against Harvard and Dartmouth. At the home match against the Big Green, the team also honored its two seniors, Caroline Amos ’19 and captain Amy Yang ’19, for their contributions to the team over the past four years.
The second-place Bulldogs (12–9, 4–1 Ivy) found themselves on the losing side of a tight match against the Crimson (16–6, 4–1 Ivy) on Friday. Despite winning the doubles point and two consecutive wins in the No. 1 and No. 3 singles matches, the Elis were unable to close out the competition. The last two matches were especially close as both played to three sets. Fueled by this upsetting loss, Yale returned to the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon and bounced back with a 4–0 shutout against last-place Dartmouth (3–16, 0–5 Ivy). Yale defeated the Big Green on the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts before proceeding to sweep all singles matches.
“While the match against Harvard may not have had the outcome that we hoped it would, our team really competed hard and played some great tennis” Sarah Cameron ’21 said. “It was a great match for our team because we showed so much heart and grit.”
After notching three straight points against Harvard, the Elis’ road to a 4–0 sweep certainly seemed possible. Caroline Dunleavy ’21 and Raissa Lou ’22 beat out the Crimson’s Jenna Friedel and Rachel Lim 6–4. Soon after, Amos and Kathy Wang ’22 defeated Annika Bassey and Isabel Jasper 7–6 (5). Building on this momentum, Samantha Martinelli ’21 clinched the win against Harvard’s Erica Oosterhout 6–4, 6–3 in the No. 1 spot.
Lou then easily bested Rachel Lim 6–1, 6–3 to give Yale a three-point advantage. With just one more win needed to emerge victorious, Yale fell short in its next four matches. The Bulldogs were tenacious in their attempt to overthrow the Crimson, as the last two matches of the duel went to three sets. But, Harvard’s Rachel Eason defeated Yang 6–3, 4–6, 6–2 to clinch the competition.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs dominated on their home courts coming off their first loss since mid-March. Dunleavy and Lou played a particularly exciting match; they defeated Dartmouth’s Racquel Lyn and Jingyi Peng 7–5 to secure the doubles point for Yale and set the tone for the rest of the competition. Following the matches, Amos and Yang — the two lone seniors — were honored for their achievements. Yang has accumulated over eighty wins as a Bulldog while Amos was the recipient of the John A. Blum Most Improved Player Award last year.
The Elis still have two regular season matches remaining which will determine their success in the Ivy League this season. The Bulldogs hit the road this weekend to take on Penn before heading north for a pivotal clash against first-place Princeton at Jadwin Gymnasium, with the Bulldogs’ first Ivy championship since 2013 on the line.
“We still control our destiny,” head coach Danielle McNamara said. “If we can take care of business against Penn and Princeton, then we can still accomplish our goal of winning an Ivy Championship. We really looked sharp and very disciplined on Sunday, which should give our team a lot of confidence heading in to our last weekend of regular season play.”
The Bulldogs compete against the Quakers on Saturday at 1 p.m. before taking on the Tigers on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the last of their regular season matches.
Margaret Hedeman | firstname.lastname@example.org