ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A day after knocking off No. 20 Notre Dame, the Yale women's tennis team almost pulled off a monstrous upset over No. 10 Michigan on the Wolverines' home court Sunday at the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The Bulldogs won the doubles point and two of the first three singles matches to finish, going ahead 3-1. But Michigan controlled the last three singles matches to finish, and wound up coming back for the 4-3 win.
Yale began the day by winning the doubles point 2-1. In the first spot, the No. 16 pairing of senior Vicky Brook and freshman Hanna Yu was defeated by Michigan's No. 24 ranked grouping of Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas 8-2. However, Yale came back to win the next two doubles matches and take an early lead. Sophomore Annie Sullivan and junior Elizabeth Epstein played in the No. 2 spot and knocked off Mimi Nguyen and Michelle Sulahian 8-6 to improve to 2-0 on the weekend and tie the match score. At No. 3, sophomore Blair Seideman and senior captain Steph Kent, ranked No. 39, beat Sarah Lee and Kristen Dodge 9-8 (1). Seideman and Kent improved to 2-0 on the weekend and 6-2 overall this year as a team.
In singles, the Bulldogs started off by running their lead up to 2-0 with a win by Yu at No. 5, where she defeated Sulahian 6-2, 6-3. Yu's victory put Yale on track to follow the exact same path as the day before, where Yale grabbed the momentum early with the doubles point against Notre Dame, and then Yu quickly knocked off her opponent to put the team up 2-0.
That trend continued even further, albeit less happily for Yale, with a loss in the second completed match. Brook, playing at No. 3, was unable to hold off No. 113 ranked Nguyen, losing her match 6-4, 6-3.
However, Yale's captain Kent got the team right back on track, finishing off an undefeated weekend in both singles and doubles by defeating Dodge 6-4, 6-3 to put Yale up 3-1, needing only one more victory to win the match and advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that would be as close as they would get. Sullivan lost her match at No. 4 by a score of 7-5, 6-1, and then it was down to highly ranked opponents for the Yale top two.
Epstein came close to finishing off a win for Yale, playing against No. 36 Bektas. Epstein took her heavily favored opponent to two 7-5 sets, but was unable to win either one.
Finally, Yale's last chance fell short with Seideman at No. 2. Seideman lost the first set 6-3, but played No. 46 ranked Bolender tough in the second, forcing a tiebreaker before eventually losing 7-6 (2).
No. 1 -- No. 36 Emina Bektas (U-M) d.. Elizabeth Epstein (Yale), 7-5, 7-5
No. 2 -- No. 46 Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. Blair Seideman (Yale), 6-3, 7-6 (2)
No. 3 -- No. 113 Mimi Nguyen (U-M) d. Vicky Brook (Yale),6-4, 6-3
No. 4 -- Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Annie Sullivan (Yale), 7-5, 6-1
No. 5 -- Hanna Yu (Yale) d. Michelle Sulahian (U-M),6-2, 6-3
No. 6 -- Steph Kent (Yale) d. Kristen Dodge (U-M), 6-4, 6-3
No. 1 -- No. 24 Brooke Bolender/Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. 16 Vicky Brook/Hanna Yu (Yale), 8-2
No. 2 -- Annie Sullivan/Elizabeth Epstein (Yale) d. Mimi Nguyen/Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 8-6
No. 3 -- Blair Seideman/Steph Kent (Yale) d. Sarah Lee/Kristen Dodge (U-M), 9-8 (1)
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity