WOMEN’S TENNIS: Elis defeat Troy, fall to Alabama and Oklahoma State
The Yale women’s tennis team suffered tough losses against Oklahoma State and Alabama, but clinched a knock-out victory over Troy University.
Lukas Flippo, Senior Photographer
The Yale women’s tennis team (5–6, 0–0 Ivy) traveled to Montgomery, Alabama for the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic this weekend. There, they took on Oklahoma State University (9–1, 0–0 Big Twelve) on Friday morning, No. 26 University of Alabama (10–2, 0–0 SEC) on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and Troy University (4–5, 0–0 Sun Belt) on Saturday afternoon.
After waiting out long weather delays, the women’s team suffered an 0–4 loss against No. 10 Oklahoma State University. The Bulldogs only played singles matches against the Cowgirls, with Yale losing lines one, three, four and six.
“Playing larger teams helped our team see our potential and the slight differences that we have and need to work on,” Mirabelle Brettkelly ’25 said. She also pointed out her pride in the fact that each of her teammates “went out prepared to fight for every ball and point,” despite their losses.
Chelsea Kung ’23 led the women’s team in its singles line-up for the entirety of the weekend. She was followed by Caroline Dunleavy ’22, Jessie Gong ’22, Brettkelly, Rhea Shrivastava ’23 and Vivian Cheng ’23. Kung and Gong also played the first line of doubles against Alabama and Troy, ahead of Dunleavy with Kathy Wang ’22 and Brettkelly with Shrivastava.
Gong pointed out that the “scores did not necessarily represent how close the matches were,” and that her team’s matches against Oklahoma State and Alabama showed them that they could “compete with the best in the country.”
On Friday afternoon, Yale played doubles matches against the Crimson Tide. Shrivastava and Brettkelly boasted a 6–2 victory and Kung and Gong wielded a 6–3 win, securing the doubles match point ahead of their Saturday singles matches.
Despite beginning Saturday morning up a point, Yale ultimately fell to Alabama with losses at singles lines two, three, five and six. Kung and Gong claimed a 6–3 triumph over the Crimson Tide’s doubles team of Loudmilla Bencheikh and Anne Marie Hiser, who entered the weekend ranked No. 33 in the country.
The Bulldogs finished the weekend with a 4–0 decisive sweep against Troy University.
“I am proud of the way that our team competed and adjusted to playing outside for the first time this season,” Dunleavy, the captain of the women’s team, said. “We have a lot to build on for the rest of the spring and are looking forward to hosting UMass next week at home.”
Next weekend, the women’s team will play at home for the first time since their Jan. 23 match against Quinnipiac. Yale will host the University of Massachusetts (6–2, 1–0 A10) in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center on Sunday. The men’s team (5–4, 0–0 Ivy) will also stay in New Haven this weekend, where it will welcome Bryant University (4–11, 1–0 Northeast) on Saturday.
Renaud Lefevre ’24 and Walker Oberg ’25 look forward to competing again as a doubles team against the Bryant Bulldogs as they prepare for their upcoming league play.
As of this weekend, both teams will officially be less than a month away from the Ivy League openers, where the women will take on Brown University on April 2 and the men will challenge the Bears on April 3.