January 26, 2014

No. 11 Michigan Tops No. 36 Yale

Sullivan and Yu Upset No. 9 Doubles Team

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Yale women's tennis team fell to No. 11 Michigan in the championship match of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off Weekend on Sunday, but not without testing its higher-ranked opponent. The final result stood at 4-0, but most of the singles matches were close affairs, and No. 36 Yale's top doubles team scored a notable upset.

Though the Michigan squad features four players ranked in top-11 doubles teams, the clash for the doubles point was anything but a foregone conclusion.  In fact, the day began auspiciously for the Bulldogs when their No. 1 doubles tandem, comprised of senior captain Annie Sullivan and junior Hanna Yu, pulled off an impressive upset at the No. 1 spot.  Sullivan and Yu took on Michigan's Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender.  Together, Bektas and Bolender form the No. 9 doubles team in the nation.  Sullivan and Yu were not intimidated by the presence of two top-10 doubles players across the net, however, and recorded a resounding 6-2 victory.  Despite this exciting start, though, Michigan shifted the balance of the match back in its favor with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.    

The Wolverines carried their momentum into singles, gaining wins at the No. 2 and No. 6 spots.  At No. 2 singles, Sarah Lee, the No. 100 player in the country, defeated freshman Sherry Li, and at No. 6 singles, Kristen Dodge overcame junior Amber Li, 6-0, 6-4.  The clinching match did not come easily for Michigan, however, as sophomore Madeleine Hamilton showed admirable resiliency against Bektas, the No. 21 player in the nation.  Ultimately, Bektas won the match in two tight sets, 7-6(6), 6-4.  While the final overall score read 4-0, the remaining three ongoing singles matches were either unfolding in the Bulldogs' favor or shifting towards their favor.  Sullivan and sophomore Ree Ree Li were both up a set in their matches, and Yu had taken the lead in the second set of her match after dropping the first in a competitive tiebreaker.  Thus, despite the loss, Yale played Michigan tough until the end.

The win sends the Wolverines to Charlottesville, Va., where they will take part in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship from Feb. 7-10.  Yale's next match will be at home against Boston University on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

Singles

(1) No. 21 Emina Bektas (U-M) d. Madeleine Hamilton (Yale), 7-6 (6), 6-4
(2) No. 100 Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Sherry Li (Yale), 6-0, 6-3
(3) Brooke Bolender (U-M) vs. Annie Sullivan (Yale), 4-6, 5-5 DNF
(4) Amy Zhu (U-M) vs. Hanna Yu (Yale), 7-6 (10), 1-3 DNF
(5) Sara Remynse (U-M) vs. Ree Ree Li (Yale), 4-6, 4-3 DNF
(6) Kristen Dodge (U-M) d. Amber Li (Yale), 6-0, 6-4

Doubles

(1) Annie Sullivan/Hanna Yu (Yale) d. No. 9 Brooke Bolender/Emina Bektas (U-M), 6-2
(2) Sarah Lee/Amy Zhu (U-M) d. ReeRee Li/Madeleine Hamilton (Yale), 6-4
(3) Kristen Dodge/Laura Ucros (U-M) d. Sherry Li/Caroline Lynch (Yale), 6-3