April 17, 2008

Bulldogs Compete for Shot at the NCAA Tournament

April 17, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale heads off to the Ivy League Championship this weekend to try to clinch the league title and the automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament that goes with it. The title this year is up for grabs. Prior to last year, the only two teams to have won the Ivy League Championship were Yale (six times) and Princeton (four times). That changed last year when Columbia came out of nowhere to win, with Princeton second and Yale third. Junior Natasha Spackey, senior Lindsay Hong and senior Ellen Brophy all competed for Yale last year, finishing in 10th, 11th and 13th, respectively.

But it is a new year and Harvard, Princeton and Yale have been exchanging tournaments all spring. All three teams have won tournaments, and they have also all finished behind one another. Expect those three teams to be at the top of the leader board come Sunday, along with defending champion Columbia. This year's tournament will take place at Atlantic City Country Club in New Jersey. It is a links course with slick greens and is supposedly the birthplace of the term "birdie."

"We haven't seen the golf course yet," said senior captain Ellen Brophy. "They always set it up tough for the Ivies and will probably stretch it out, which works in our favor because we are one of the longest hitting teams in the league."

Teeing it up for Yale will be Brophy, Hong, Spackey, sophomore Taylor Lee and freshman Harriet Owers-Bradley. Brophy thinks the Bulldogs are ready for the challenges presented by the course and their opponents.

"We've been working hard and have been more focused than I've seen our team in recent years," said Brophy. "If anything, we're fired up, confident and feeling good about our chances this weekend. We know we're capable of winning; we're just three rounds away."

The tournament will be played over two days, beginning Saturday, Apr. 19.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity

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