Tennis Star Selected Yale's Top Female Athlete
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Elizabeth Epstein, who helped the Yale women's tennis team win three Ivy League titles and four ECAC team championships during her outstanding career, is the recipient of the 2013 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. The award was presented at today's Class Day exercises.
The Nellie Pratt Elliot Award goes to the senior woman whose excellence in the field of athletics and in her life at Yale best represents the ideals of sportsmanship and Yale tradition. It is awarded in memory of Nellie Pratt Elliot, who was an assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale for 46 years.
Epstein, a Chicago, Ill., native, is a three-time All-Ivy selection and a two-time winner of the team's Lisa Rosenblum Award, given to the most valuable player. In her four years, the Bulldogs posted a 24-4 record against Ivy League foes, including a perfect 7-0 mark in 2012, and made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
As a senior this spring, Epstein, the team captain, was a unanimous pick for first team All-Ivy. She played in both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, posted a 26-9 overall record and was ranked as high as No. 42 nationally in singles. Her most impressive victory came over Virginia's Julia Elbaba, who is currently ranked No. 12. She also has victories over No. 28 Kata Szekely of Tennessee and No. 54 Kaitlyn Christian of USC on her resume.
Epstein, who resided in Pierson College at Yale, also earned first team All-Ivy recognition following her junior season. She won the clinching match in Yale's victory over Saint Mary's in the NCAA Tournament, only the second NCAA win in school history. In doubles, Epstein was a second team All-Ivy selection with partner Annie Sullivan. The duo posted a 21-1 overall record.
As a sophomore, Epstein received second team All-Ivy honors and was the recipient of both the Lisa Rosenblum (MVP) and Most Improved Player team awards. She posted a 19-6 record during the spring season and was the Bulldogs' No. 1 player by the end of the year.
In her rookie year in 2009-10, Epstein was 6-1 in Ivy League matches and reached the finals of the USTA BJK NTC Women's College Invitational.
Off the court, Epstein has been involved in New Haven Tennis Outreach, mentoring and teaching tennis to young children in the New Haven public school system. She is a political science major.
All-Time Nellie Pratt Elliot Award Recipients
1976-77 Anne F. Keating Basketball/Field Hockey/Lacrosse
1977-78 Barbara A. Liebowitz Basketball
1978-79 Mary C. Pew Crew
1979-80 Susanna E. Krentz Volleyball/Basketball
1980-81 Tracy Ball Lacrosse
1981-82 Patricia A. Melton Track
1982-83 Sindee L. Simon Swimming
1983-84 Nicole W. Piasecki Lacrosse/Field Hockey
1984-85 Andrea P. Metkus Fencing
1985-86 Melissa Jane Buchan Track
1986-87 Louisa Gerritz Track
1987-88 Kelly Groteke Cross Country
1988-89 Sarah P. Smith Track/Cross Country
1989-90 Tonya Lawrence Basketball
1990-91 Kristine A. Campbell Fencing
1991-92 Berkeley Belknap Squash
1992-93 Anne Lehman Field Hockey
1993-94 Tasha Taylor Gymnastics
1994-95 Mary Kalich Basketball
1995-96 Kellianne Bartlett Field Hockey/Softball
1996-97 Amanda Taft Softball
1997-98 Laurie Belliveau Women's Ice Hockey
1998-99 Rosanna "Rosie" Wustrack Volleyball
1999-00 Heather R. Bentley Lacrosse
2000-01 Meredith Bryarly Swimming and Diving
2001-02 Sarah Seung-Hee Seo Golf
2002-03 Kate and Laura O'Neill Track and Cross Country
2003-04 Elizabeth "Miles" Whitman Women's Lacrosse
2004-05 Sarah Driscoll Women's Lacrosse/Field Hockey
2005-06 Michelle Quibell Squash
Joslyn Woodard Track
2006-07 Rachel Jeffers Crew
2007-08 Lauren Taylor Lacrosse
2008-09 Christina Person Crew
2009-10 Susan Kim Swimming
2010-11 Kate Grace Track
2011-12 Taylor Cramm Volleyball
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity