Team Honors Guzick, R. Li and Sullivan
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a season marked by a third straight Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament appearance, the Yale women's tennis team held its awards banquet Monday. Three players earned special distinction: senior Sarah Guzick (Greer, S.C.) was named Most Improved, freshman Ree Ree Li (Waxhaw, N.C.) won the Special Contribution Award and junior Annie Sullivan (Deerfield, Ill.) received the Lisa Rosenblum Award for most valuable player. Sullivan was also elected captain at the event.
No. 35 Yale (17-4, 6-1 Ivy League) finished its season this weekend with a 4-3 loss to No. 23 Georgia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs, who went undefeated at home for the third straight season and ranked as high as No. 23, earned a berth in the tournament as the Ivy League's automatic qualifier. This was the team's fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and its eighth Ivy League championship.
Guzick, who joined the team during her junior year, was given the Most Improved Player Award by her coaches after earning a spot in the lineup at the end of the season. Guzick made a strong showing in the fall, going 5-3 at singles and 11-1 at doubles. Playing with Sullivan, she won the Cissie Leary Invitational in September after upsetting No. 52 pair Sarah O'Neil and Lauren Frazier of Cornell in the quarterfinals.
In the spring, Guzick made a few appearances at Nos. 5 and 6 singles before settling into the No. 6 spot, where she went 3-1 and recorded a win against Georgia Tech in the NCAA Tournament.
Guzick is a political science major in Calhoun College. Before Yale she attended Christ Church Episcopal School.
The team's Most Improved Player Award is the only award for which the coaches make the selection. The other two awards, the Special Contribution Award and the Lisa Rosenblum Award, rely on team voting.
The Special Contribution Award is granted "to a special person who has contributed much more than tennis and whose presence was vital to the spirit of the women's tennis team." Li, this year's recipient, appeared in eight singles matches and seven doubles matches before being sidelined by an injury. She remained a vocal and positive presence for the team at every match. In her only spring appearance, a 7-0 win over Delaware State on Jan. 20, she earned points for the Bulldogs at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles with senior captain Elizabeth Epstein.
Li is a resident of Ezra Stiles College. Before Yale she attended Marvin Ridge High School.
In addition to electing her captain, Sullivan's teammates also honored her with the Lisa Rosenblum Award.
Sullivan was a dominant force at singles this spring, going 19-1 with one unfinished match. While she began the season playing Nos. 4 and 5, she earned a crucial win at No. 3 against Arkansas on Feb. 3, helping the Bulldogs edge the Razorbacks, 4-3. On Mar. 15, Sullivan struck again at the No. 3 position, this time eking out a three-set win over then-ranked No. 110 Ale Granillo to clinch another 4-3 win for her team, as well as a spot in the semifinals of the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic. Sullivan went on to finish the season at No. 3, winning all seven of her Ivy League matches and earning second team All-Ivy honors for her efforts.
Sullivan also made second team All-Ivy at doubles with Epstein. The pair played about half the season together at No. 1, going 9-4 and 2-2 in the Ivy League before finishing the season with other partners. Sullivan had a 15-6 record overall at doubles this spring.
Yale's 2013-14 captain is a history major and a resident of Berkeley College. Prior to Yale she attended Woodlands Academy.
The Lisa Rosenblum Award is named after Lisa Rosenblum '75, who went 43-2 at singles for Yale, won four New England Intercollegiate championships, and was a part of three Ivy championship teams.
Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity