Sept. 26, 2003
In the first day of play at the Rice Tennis Classic in Houston, Texas, the women's tennis team had a strong showing.
Karlyn and Ashley Martin advanced to the doubles semifinals on the strength of an 8-2 victory over Louisiana State's Marina Chiarelli and Lauren Seaman., while six Yale singles players won their first round matches.
Christine Alford, playing in the most competitive Blue singles bracket, took her match in straight sets, defeating Louisiana's Celine VanWeydeveld 6-2, 6-0. Playing in the Grey singles division, Stephanie White rebounded after dropping the first set to Houston's Kami Miller. White came back to win a challenging 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 match. It was the only three set match that any of the Bulldogs played.
White was not the only Yale player to change the momentum and come back from behind to win a singles match. After being down 5-0 in the first set to Texas-San Antonio's Ana Paula Soto, Yale freshman Rashmee Patil charged back to take the first set in a tiebreaker before shutting Soto out in the second , winning 7-6 (4), 6-0.
"I think today was great," said Head Coach Chad Skorupka. "I'd call it a very successful day. We won a lot of matches and came back in a couple, and we won a couple tiebreakers in singles as well as a three set match. Our younger players are getting a lot of good match experience."
Also victorious in singles play were Ashley Martin in the Gray singles and Reshmi Srinath and Aimee Kim in the White bracket. Martin defeated Rice's Erika Villalobos 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Srinath took a first set tiebreaker against Louisiana's Cecilia Varela, winning 7-6 (5), 6-0, and Kim defeated Sandra Blajer from Houston in a 6-1, 6-3 game.
In doubles action, the Martins advanced to the semifinals, while the team of Srinath and Patil, playing in the Gray Doubles, dropped their first game but won in the consolation round over Houston's Sandra Blajer and Kami Miller, 8-1.
The tournament continues tomorrow with two rounds of singles and one of doubles, and culminates with the championship rounds on Sunday.