Yale Hosts Bulldog Invitational in the Fall; Spring Stretch Promises New Opponents
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A new season and new challenges await a Yale women's tennis team fresh off a third straight Ivy League Championship. These challenges will come early and often, as the Bulldogs are scheduled to participate in a slew of high-profile events starting in the fall. As for the regular season in the spring, fitness and endurance may be the theme, as the Bulldogs are scheduled to play up to 27 matches over a 14-week span. As always, however, the defending Ivy League champions will aim to rise to these challenges and reach for victory yet again.
The final slate of dates, times and opponents is yet to be finalized, but the calendar is already shaping up to be a thrilling one for the squad. While a few of the veteran members of the squad may be selected to take part in the prestigious Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships, the first time the fans will get a look at the full 2013-14 squad is right at home for the Bulldog Invitational. This tournament begins on Oct. 4. Following this event, the Bulldogs will test their skills against the best in the Northeast at the ITA Regional Championships and then travel to Chicago for the Northwestern Invite.
The second half of the season will begin much like the first, as the Bulldogs host yet another multi-team event, the Yale Classic. After the Yale Classic, which kicks off Jan. 17, the Bulldogs will fight their way through a busy schedule, making some significant stops along the way, such as the selective Blue-Gray Invite, before mounting their Ivy League title defense in April. The squad's first Ancient Eight match is on Apr. 4 against Princeton.
At the helm of the Yale squad is head coach Danielle McNamara, assisted by Kirsten Flower. Leading her fellow teammates is captain Annie Sullivan, the sole senior on the team. Freshmen Sherry Li and Caroline Lynch are the newest members on the roster.
Here is a closer look at the Yale women's tennis 2013-14 schedule:
- Yale returns to play at home in the fall after a one-year hiatus (the Bulldogs last played at home in the fall when they hosted the ITA Regional Championships in 2011). The lineup for the Bulldog Invitational in October includes several teams ranked in the nation's top 75 at the end of last season, with No. 27 Purdue topping the list.
- Yale's fall season concludes with the Northwestern Invite in November. Host Northwestern was ranked No. 12 in the country at the end of the 2012-13 season.
- The Bulldogs could play up to 27 regular season matches in the spring, which would be seven more than last season (three matches were cancelled in February due to the winter storm). These numbers do not include post-season matchups.
- Of the 20 potential non-Ivy matches, only two are currently scheduled to be against opponents the Bulldogs faced in the 2012-13 season. These two schools are Boston University and St. John's, both of whom the Bulldogs defeated 7-0. Yale may play more teams it faced last season depending on the draws at the ITA National Team Indoors and Blue-Gray Invite.
- Opponents Yale is set to face for the first time in the team's recent history include Arizona State, Brigham Young, Rice and Virginia Tech.
- Only three non-Ivy matches in the spring are scheduled to take place at home. The opponents for these three matches are Boston University and two undetermined schools.
- The Bulldogs will be making several out-of-state trips in the spring. Destinations include Ann Arbor, Mich.; Charlottesville, Va.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Tempe, Ariz.
- This season's Ivy League schedule includes four home matches and three away matches. The four home matches will be against Princeton, Penn, Harvard and Brown (the latter being the final regular season match). The three away matches will be against Cornell, Columbia and Dartmouth.
- The schedule is subject to change. Check yalebulldogs.com for updates.
Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity