PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Wednesday, the magical ride of the Yale women's tennis team at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships came to an end with two losses in singles and a loss in doubles.
While the results of Wednesday's matches were not all that the team hoped for, the tournament results overall were beyond outstanding. Junior Blair Seideman and freshman Hanna Yu both advanced out of the prequalifying round into qualifiers by winning three matches, and both topped ranked opponents once they got into the qualifiers. Senior captain Elizabeth Epstein won two matches over ranked opponents, and with junior Annie Sullivan, knocked off a doubles pair that was ranked above them. All in all, the team went 11-3 in singles and 1-2 in doubles.
In Wednesday's action, the doubles pairing of Epstein and Sullivan were the first to play. Going up against DePaul's Patricia Fargas and Jasmin Kling, the Bulldog pair fell 8-3. Nevertheless, the ITA ranking of Epstein and Sullivan should rise from its current spot at No. 40 by virtue of their victory over No. 38 Melissa Bolivar and Lina Lileikite.
In singles play, Yu was up first, playing No. 89 Aleksandra Josifoska, from UNLV with a spot in the main draw on the line. Josifoska came out quick, though, grabbing control of the match with a 6-3 first set, then sealing the deal with a 6-1 win in the second. Yu's tournament is over, but she should return to school proudly, owner of five wins at the All-American Championships. Yu first worked her way through the prequalifiers, going to three sets in her first two matches before winning the third easily. She saved her best for the qualifying round, though, where the sophomore knocked off first No. 75 Anna Depenau, then No. 38 Nazari Urbina, both in straight sets.
Epstein was the final Bulldog in action, playing Baylor's Ema Burgic for the right to advance into the main draw. Burgic, despite being an unranked prequalifier, played a strong match against Epstein, winning 6-4, 6-2. Like Yu, and indeed all of the Bulldogs that went to California, Epstein will return home with some new notches on her belt. Epstein was slotted into the qualifying round in singles (as well as doubles), and proved that she deserved that spot and perhaps a new, higher, ranking as well. Epstein first beat No. 28 Kata Szekely, coming back from losing the first set to win the match and advance to the second round, where No. 54 Kaitlyn Christian awaited. Playing under the lights, Epstein came up huge, winning in straight sets to propel her into the match with Burgic.
Yale women's tennis is back in action Saturday, at the USTA Invitational.
Aleksandra Josifoska (UNLV) def. Hanna Yu (Yale): 6-3, 6-1
Ema Burgic (Baylor) def. Elizabeth Epstein (Yale): 6-4, 6-2
Fargas/Kling (DePaul) def. Epstein/Sullivan (Yale): 8-3
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity