April 20, 2012

No. 30 Yale Readies for Home Match Against Harvard, Trip to Dartmouth

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, the No. 30 Yale women's tennis team will face two Ivy League foes in Harvard and Dartmouth as the Bulldogs attempt to improve their 16-3 record and 4-0 mark in the Ivy League. 

If Yale wins at least one more of its three matches, the Bulldogs are guaranteed at least a share of the Ivy League title for the second straight season.  Two wins would clinch an outright victory.  Winning the Ivy League gives a team an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. 

Harvard will come to the Yale Tennis Center at 2 p.m. on Friday.  The Crimson currently stand at 9-6 overall and 2-2 in the Ivy League, tied for fourth place.  Harvard lost its last two matches to Penn and Princeton, both teams that Yale has already beaten (twice, in the case of Princeton).  In doubles, the pairing of Kristin Norton and Hideko Tachibana is ranked No. 73 for the Crimson.  Norton is also the highest ranked singles player for Harvard, at No. 10 in the Northeast region.  Camile Jania is ranked No. 15 in the same rankings. 

Yale leads the Ivy League by a wide margin, and has already defeated the second place teams in Columbia and Princeton.  For the Bulldogs, this weekend will present an opportunity to improve on the team's current six-match winning streak in doubles.  The team has won the doubles point in 18 of its 19 matches on the season so far.  The No. 81 ranked pairing of senior Vicky Brook and freshman Amber Li will lead the way for Yale.  Brook and Li have played together in the last five matches, but the earlier pairing of Brook and freshman Hanna Yu is still ranked No. 45.  In an odd twist of fate, Li is also ranked a second time, at No. 88 with sophomore Annie Sullivan.  Sullivan now plays with junior Elizabeth Epstein, and that duo has put together a 17-1 record playing in the second spot.  The No. 3 doubles pairing for Yale is made up of sophomore Blair Seideman and senior captain Steph Kent, who have gone 16-1.  In terms of singles, the Bulldogs dominate the Northeast regional rankings, with Epstein at No. 2, Yu at No. 3, Brook at No. 7 and Seideman at No. 13. 

Yale will go on the road to Dartmouth Sunday for a 12 p.m. showdown.  Dartmouth is 8-10 on the season, but has a solid Ivy League record of 2-2, tied with Harvard.  The two Ivy League losses for the Big Green have come at the hands of Columbia and Princeton, both of whom have fallen to the Bulldogs.  Dartmouth has a dearth of ranked players, with its sole representative being Akiko Okuda at No. 20 in the Northeast region.

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Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity