January 14, 2013

Women's Tennis Ready for Match Play

Bulldogs Look for Ivy Three-Peat

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a brief winter offseason, the Yale women's tennis team will resume play on Jan. 20 with a home match against Delaware State at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. The Bulldogs kick off their spring season following a successful fall campaign that included the Cissie Leary Invitational, the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Invitational.

Fall Success

Yale's performance at the Cissie Leary Invitational in September was one of the highlights of the fall. Freshman Courtney Amos won the B Flight of the tournament, while senior Sarah Guzick and junior Annie Sullivan won the doubles bracket, defeating their own teammates, sophomores Amber Li and Hanna Yu, in the finals.

The Bulldogs had another strong showing in October at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Invitational, where freshman Madeleine Hamilton and sophomore Amber Li took second place in doubles, with Li reaching the semifinals of the singles bracket in the same tournament.

Yale's most impressive performance, however, came at the ITA All-American Championships. In singles, junior Blair Seideman and Hanna Yu both won three straight matches to advance from prequalifying and join senior captain Elizabeth Epstein in the qualifying stage. Epstein and Yu reached the third round of qualifying, while Seideman made it to the second. The Bulldogs also saw success at doubles, where Epstein and Sullivan reached the second round of the qualifying stage.

In November, the Big Green Invitational gave the Bulldogs an opportunity face off against Ivy League rival Dartmouth and Northeast competitors Boston University and the University of Massachusetts. Yale emerged from the round robin as the top team, going undefeated through 11 doubles matches and posting a 22-1 record at singles. The Bulldogs will host Boston University on Feb. 22 and Dartmouth on Apr. 21.

High Hopes for Spring

Yale opens the spring season ranked No. 28 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest poll (Jan. 3), 36 spots ahead of the next highest-ranking Ivy, Brown, at No. 64. The Bulldogs are the two-time defending Ivy League champions, sharing the 2011 title with Dartmouth and winning the 2012 championship outright.

The team features some of the strongest players in the country, including No. 31 Blair Seideman, No. 42 Elizabeth Epstein, and No. 90 Madeleine Hamilton. At doubles, one of the Bulldogs' traditional strengths, Yale boasts No. 49 pair Sarah Guzick and Annie Sullivan, as well as No. 53 pair Amber Li and Hanna Yu.

Freshmen Courtney Amos, Madeleine Hamilton and Ree Ree Li, whom captain Elizabeth Epstein described as, "great additions to the team, both on and off the court," have provided a spark and will look to contribute further in the spring. Upon entry they ranked as the eighth-strongest recruiting class in the nation.

With such talented players old and new, the Yale women's squash team has high expectations for the spring. While head coach Danielle Lund McNamara admits that the Ivy League Championship is on her mind, she notes, "much more important than the results is that we work hard every single day to improve in all aspects of the game...I'm so excited to get the season underway and start competing with this very special and talented team."

Their schedule can be viewed here

Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity