ATLANTA, Ga. – Yale ended the Yellowjacket Invitational Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma State in singles and a 2-1 loss to Georgia in doubles.
On the weekend, the Bulldogs went 1-2 in singles and 1-2 in doubles, defeating Oklahoma State in both formats and losing their matches to Georgia and Georgia Tech.
In singles, Oklahoma State was short a player due to injury, so Yale received an automatic victory at the No. 6 spot. Needing only two victories to tie and three to win the match, Yale went out and got victories at the Nos. 1, 3 and 5 spots. Playing at No. 1 was junior Elizabeth Epstein, who won a second-set tiebreak 7-5 to claim the match. At No. 3, senior Vicky Brook dropped only four games in defeating Oklahoma State's Meghan Blevins, and at No. 5 freshman Hanna Yu also won her match in straight sets. Sophomore Blair Seideman dropped her match at the No. 2 spot in three sets, and fellow sophomore Annie Sullivan fell in two sets at No. 4.
In doubles, Brook and Yu played at the No. 1 spot and beat the No. 20 doubles team in the nation, Georgia's Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring, 8-3. The Georgia duo defeated Georgia Tech's Caroline Lilley and Jillian O'Neill, the No. 6 team in the country, on Saturday, making an already outstanding win even more impressive for the Yale side. At No. 2 doubles, senior captain Steph Kent and freshman Amber Li went down 8-2, and at No. 3 Seideman and Sullivan lost 8-1.
Due to Oklahoma State being short a player and Yale having seven, Epstein played with Oklahoma State's Leyla Simmons in a doubles match against Georgia Tech, ultimately losing 8-2. In addition, Yale's two players that were without matches on the singles side both were able to play against Georgia Tech players, producing some of the best drama of the day. First, Kent lost in two sets to Muriel Wacker despite winning ten games. Second came Amber Li, a freshman still in her first weekend of competitive tennis at Yale. She went down early to Georgia Tech's Jasmine Minor, dropping the first set 6-0 and falling behind 5-0 in the second with the score at 15-40 and two match points to defend. Li not only did that, but also stormed back to win the next six games and take a 6-5 lead, winning four match points total along the way. She then dropped the next game and the first four points of the tiebreaker, but came back to win 10-8. Finally, Li took over in the third set and won 6-1 to clinch the match.
On the weekend, Yale showed some very positive signs for the upcoming season, especially from the two newcomers to the team, Li and Hanna Yu. Both pulled off 2-1 records in singles, and Yu won two doubles matches while Li won one. Epstein, Yale's only ranked player at No. 92 in the nation, won a singles match and a doubles match, and Vicky Brook won a singles match and had two victories in doubles.
Overall, Coach Christian Thompson was pleased with the team. "From the first day to the last, I really liked the way that our team mentally and physically adapted to the competition."
Elizabeth Epstein (Yale) def. C.C. Sardinha (OSU), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)
Malika Rose (OSU) def. Blair Seideman (Yale), 7-5, 2-6, 6-1
Vicky Brook (Yale) def. Meghan Blevins (OSU), 6-3, 6-1
Mary Jeremiah (OSU) def. Annie Sullivan (Yale), 6-2, 6-4
Hanna Yu (Yale) def. Leyla Simmons (OSU), 6-3, 6-2
Amber Li (Yale) def. Jasmine Minor (GT), 0-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-1
Muriel Wacker (GT) def. Stephanie Kent (Yale), 6-4, 7-6
Vicky Brook/Hanna Yu (Yale) def. Lauren Herring/Kate Fuller (UGA), 8-3
Maho Kowase/Lilly Kimbell (UGA) def. Stephanie Kent/Amber Li (Yale), 8-2
Mary Jeremiah/Rachael Hart (UGA) def. Blair Seideman/Annie Sullivan (Yale), 8-1
Jasmine Minor/Alex Anghelescu (GT) def. Elizbaeth Epstein (Yale)/Leyla Simmons (OSU), 8-2
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity