NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Stevi Petrelli, a rising senior from Harrison, NY, was named captain for the Yale women's tennis team for the 2010-11 season. Petrelli was elected by her teammates Friday to succeed Sarah Lederhandler as captain next year.
"I'm extremely honored to be elected as captain by my fellow teammates," Petrelli said. "I take a lot of pride in being a part of the Yale women's tennis program, and I'm very excited to combine with my fellow seniors, Lindsay Clark and Silia DeFilippis, to lead next year's team to our best season yet."
In all three seasons at Yale, Petrelli has been a major contributor for the Bulldogs. As a freshman, Petrelli went 5-2 in Ivy League play at No. 5 singles to help the Bulldogs win an outright Ivy League Title. Petrelli also went 9-9 at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles her freshman year.
She built on her freshman year by posting a 15-13 overall record as a sophomore with a 5-2 Ivy League record again at No. 5 singles. She went 16-12 in doubles play for the Bulldogs.
This past season, Petrelli had her best season yet. She went 24-10 for the year with a 14-7 spring record at the No. 4 and No. 5 singles positions. Petrelli teamed with freshman Elizabeth Epstein to go 5-0 in the Ivy League at No. 3 doubles.
In her first three seasons, Petrelli has played with two Yale women's tennis captains. She said she has learned from both.
"I have the utmost respect for my past captains, Lilian Nguyen and Sarah Lederhandler, and I hope to uphold the precedent of strong leadership that they left behind," Petrelli said. "They were role models both on and off the court and showed by example what it takes to lead a successful team."
Head Coach Danielle Lund McNamara said she expects Petrelli to excel as captain next season.
"I think that Stevi will do a great job as Captain next year,” McNamara said. “She's one of our team's hardest workers, toughest players and best competitors. I'm looking forward to seeing her take over this very important role and work with Lindsay (Clark) and Silia (DeFillipis) to be an incredibly strong senior class.”
Petrelli, Clark, and DeFillipis will be joined by sophomore Vicky Brook, sophomore Stephanie Kent, freshman Elizabeth Epstein, and freshman Jenna Ritz as returning players to Yale's team next season. The Bulldogs will also add the seventh best recruiting class in the nation with blue chipper Blair Seideman and five-star recruits Annie Sullivan and Kim Szokol.
"Our primary goal is always to come to every match prepared to perform at the highest level," Petrelli said. "If we do this, I know we have the talent and toughness to win an Ivy Championship and be competitive in the NCAA Tournament."
Yale also handed out its season awards Friday night. Senior Jessica Rhee received the Lisa Rosenblum award as the team MVP. The special contribution award went to junior Silia DeFilippis. Sophomore Vicky Brook was named the most improved player for the second season in a row.
Report Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity