January 22, 2009

Bulldogs to Host Boston College in Season Opener

Jan. 22, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 71 Bulldogs will open their 2009 season by hosting Boston College Saturday at the Cullman-Heyman Center. Yale will look to extend its home winning streak to 14 matches with a win Saturday.

Head Coach Danielle Lund McNamara said the team is looking forward to kicking off the 2009 season.

"I'm really excited about our season opener vs. Boston College this Saturday," McNamara said. "Our team has been working incredibly hard since September to prepare for the 2009 season and I can't wait to get out there and compete for Yale. Hopefully we'll get a lot of fans to cheer us on in the brand new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. It should be a great match."

History Lesson
In 2008, Yale traveled to Boston to take on the Eagles. Boston College defeated an injury-depleted Yale team 5-2. Lindsay Clark and Lilian Nguyen came away with the only wins for the Bulldogs in the loss.

In 2007, the result was reversed. The Bulldogs defeated the Eagles 5-2 at home behind a strong effort from the top of the lineup.

2009 Schedule
Seven of Yale's 19 spring semester opponents are nationally ranked (No. 12 Vanderbilt University, No. 19 University of Michigan, No. 24 University of Tennessee, No. 54 Western Michigan, No. 61 Princeton, No. 67 Penn, and No. 72 SMU). The Bulldogs matches against Vanderbilt and Michigan will have extra meaning as they are against assistant coach Amanda Fish and McNamara's respective alma maters.

The match against SMU will come as part of a four match spring break trip to Texas.

Brown Scrimmage
On January 19, the Bulldogs hosted Brown in a scrimmage. The two teams did not play with full lineups, but rather, played five singles matches and three doubles matches.

Senior Janet Kim, junior Jessica Rhee, and junior Sarah Lederhandler all won singles matches for Yale. The doubles teams of Kim and freshman Vicky Brook and Rhee and sophomore Stevi Petrelli won their respective doubles matches.

2008 Ivy League Champions
Yale posted an undefeated 7-0 record in the Ivy League to win its first Ivy League Title since 1989 and its first outright Ivy League Title since 1981. In their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the Bulldogs fell first round against No. 2 seed Georgia.

The Bulldogs finished the year with an Intercollegiate Tennis Association East region ranking of No. 6 and an ITA national ranking of No. 74. The East Regional rank of No. 6 was the highest of an Ivy League team in the end of the year rankings. The Bulldogs trailed only William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, Marshall, and Virginia Tech in the end of the year regional rankings.

2008 Ivy League Player of the Year
Janet Kim became the first Yale player to earn the Ivy League Player of the Year award. Kim was 6-1 in league matches at No. 1 singles. For the third straight year, Kim was recognized with a first team All-Ivy singles selection. The selection was unanimous for Kim, who posted a 13-6 record.

Kim begins the year ranked No. 15 in the ITA East regional singles rankings.

Six Returning Starters
Kim is not the only returning starter for Yale. In fact, the Bulldogs return all six singles starters from last year's Ivy League Championship team. Sophomore Lindsay Clark, who played No. 3 singles last season and was named second team All-Ivy last season, begins the year ranked No. 24 in the East regional singles rankings. Yale also returns second team All-Ivy selection junior Jessica Rhee, who played No. 2 singles last season. Junior Sarah Lederhandler, sophomore Stevi Petrelli, and sophomore Lauren Ritz played No. 4, 5, and 6 singles last season, respectively.

One New Addition
While the Bulldogs return a full squad from last year's Ivy League Championship team, they will have to make room for freshman Vicky Brook.

The freshman from London, England arrived at Yale this year and had an unbelievable Fall season. Shrugging off any evidence of being a newcomer to tennis at the collegiate level, Brook jumped right in at the Cissy Leary Invitational. In the tournament, Brook advanced all the way to the finals of the Red Bracket before losing. Brook followed this performance up with an even better one at the USTA Invite. Brook won the singles VI draw in the tournament. But she saved her best for the end of the fall season. She won the Yale Invitational Blue Singles Draw, the top draw of the tournament.

Now, after completing the fall season with a 12-2 record, Brook enters the dual match season with a No. 19 ranking in the ITA East Regional rankings.

The Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center
Over 200 hundred people were in attendance for the dedication of the new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center back on Nov. 1. The fabulous eight-court facility complete with a spectacular viewing area and lobby will be the new home of Yale tennis.

The Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center was made possible by the generous leadership gifts from Sam Heyman '60 and the estate of the late Joseph Cullman III. The project includes a new building with four new courts that are attached to the existing four Cullman Courts. Additionally, the renovation includes team locker rooms, a team room, and coaches' offices. The new spacious lobby has been named by Larry Leeds `50 in honor of his son Cary '79. The eight courts have been named to recognize great figures in Yale Tennis history.

The Blue Aces Fan Club
The Blue Aces Fan Club is the official fan club for the Yale Bulldogs women's tennis team. It's free to join. The perks of membership are free food at designated home matches, the opportunity to compete in games to win prizes between doubles and singles, and the chance to win a free X-Box 360.

Report Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity

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