WEST POINT, N.Y. – Sunday, the Yale women's tennis team finished 5-4 in singles and 0-2 in doubles, with senior captain Elizabeth Epstein ending the day as the lone Bulldog in contention at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championships.
Epstein played two matches Sunday, winning the first by a score of 6-4, 6-4 over Dartmouth's Janet Liu. Then, in the round of sixteen, Epstein faced Penn's Sol Eskenazi. Epstein grabbed the first set 6-3, but Eskenazi came storming back in the second to tie the match with a 6-2 win. In the clinching set, though, Epstein was too much, turning the heat on after getting ahead 3-2 and never looking back en route to a 6-2 win. Epstein is the tournament's second seed, and will be facing the thirteenth seed in Columbia's Bianca Sanon on Monday in the quarterfinals. Sanon has so far knocked off the Nos. 8 and 13 seeded players, and has not yet dropped a single set. Of the eight players remaining in the tournament, Epstein is the highest seeded, with the Nos. 5 and 6 seeds in Boston College's Jessica Wacnik and Columbia's Kanika Vaidya, respectively, making up the closest competition.
Freshman Madeleine Hamilton, coming off of a first-round bye and a second round win in straight sets over Hofstra's Sarah Bowen, picked up right where she left off on Saturday as she cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Stony Brook's Jackie Altan Sarnai in the round of 32. Her round of sixteen opponent, Wacnik, would prove much tougher, though, as Hamilton was unable to find any traction, losing 6-3, 6-1 as the Boston College sophomore advanced into the quarterfinal round.
The third seed of the tournament, junior Blair Seideman, took her first match of the day 6-3, 6-4 over Katherine Yau of Dartmouth. In the round of sixteen, though, Princeton's Amanda Mulliawan, the eleventh seed, won a hard-fought victory over Seideman. Both sets went to a tiebreak, with Mulliawan eventually winning 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1) to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
The pattern of winning the first match but losing the second continued with sophomore Hanna Yu, the tournament's seventh seed. Yu had little trouble with Buston University's Lauren Davis, seeded No. 32, as Yu took the match 6-2, 6-3. Once again, though, the round of sixteen proved poisonous to a Bulldog, as Columbia's Vaidya knocked Yu out by a score of 6-2, 6-4.
Finally, junior Annie Sullivan, the No. 12 seed, fell to Brown's Jessica Harrow in the round of 32. Harrow was a No. 32 seed, and looked vulnerable after dropping the second set 6-1 (after taking the first 6-4), but came back strong in the third to win 6-2.
In doubles play, the two new pairings that came into the day 3-0 both dropped their matches in the quarterfinals.
Playing together for the first time in tournament play, the pairing of Hamilton and Sullivan was nevertheless given the No. 4 seed. After three relatively smooth victories, the two ran into a buzz saw in the form of Wacnik and her partner Olga Khmylev, who would win the match 8-6 to advance into the semifinals.
On the other side of the bracket, the eighth seeded pairing of Epstein and Yu also came to the end of their road. Eskenazi earned her vengeance against Epstein, teaming with partner Sonya Latycheva to beat the Yale duo 8-6 and advance to the semis.
Play will continue beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, and Epstein will be back in action as she competes for the singles title.
Elizabeth Epstein (Yale) def. Janet Liu (Dartmouth): 6-4, 6-2
Elizabeth Epstein (Yale) def. Sol Eskenazi (Penn): 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
Madeleine Hamilton (Yale) def. Jackie Altan Sarnai (Stony Brook): 6-1, 6-3
Jessica Wacnik (Brown) def. Madeleine Hamilton (Yale): 6-3, 6-1
Blair Seideman (Yale) def. Katherine Yau (Dartmouth): 6-3, 6-4
Amanda Mulliawan (Princeton) def. Blair Seideman (Yale): 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1)
Hanna Yu (Yale) def. Lauren Davis (Boston University): 6-2, 6-3
Kanika Vaidya (Columbia) def. Hanna Yu (Yale): 6-2, 6-4
Jessica Harrow (Brown) def. Annie Sullivan (Yale): 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
Eskenazi/Latycheva (Penn) def. Epstein/Yu (Yale): 8-6
Khmylev/Wacnik (Boston College) def. Hamilton/Sullivan (Yale): 8-6
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity