January 24, 2007

Bulldogs Look to Build Off Fall Season Success

Jan. 24, 2007

The upcoming spring season looks promising for the women's tennis team after a strong fall performance from all players. Impressive play by sophomore No. 1 singles player Janet Kim, who finished the fall season with a 10-3 record, earned her a ranking of 12 in the fall ITA Regional Rankings.

Freshmen Sarah Lederhandler and Jessie Rhee found success in their early collegiate careers posting singles records of 6-6 and 8-6 respectively in the fall season. Head Coach Danielle Lund said in addition to the stellar play by her freshmen, senior Christine Alford stepped up in the fall.

"I was very happy with the progress and results we had during the fall season," Lund said. "In particular, I thought the freshmen Sarah Lederhandler and Jessie Rhee adjusted extremely well to the level of college tennis and to the high expectations of our program. Senior Christine Alford had a strong showing as well after being in and out of the line up last year. Alford ended the fall season on a high note after qualifying for the ITA East Regionals in singles for the first time in her career."

Lund hopes that a challenging schedule including a spring break trip with matches against ranked opponents will allow the Bulldogs to prove themselves this season.

"This year we have nine nationally ranked teams on our schedule ranging from #10 to #60 in the country," Lund said. "Playing teams of this level is a great opportunity for us to see where we stand against tough competition and also to qualify for the NCAA team tournament at the end of the year. I really like our spring break schedule because we'll be playing three teams ranked between 50 and 60 in the country, which are very realistic wins and would be a great way for us to get a national ranking ourselves. Also, it will provide us valuable outdoor match play as we prepare for the Ivy Season."

The spring season begins January 26 at Syracuse against the Orange. The Bulldogs follow that match January 27 against No. 32 Marland also in Syracuse. Lund said she looks at the opening weekend competition as a chance to get off on the right foot and prove that Yale can play with the best.

"Our first weekend of competition is coming up against Syracuse and Maryland," Lund said. "Syracuse is a team we lost to last year 3-4 and we're definitely looking to get revenge. Maryland is new to our schedule but we've seen their players at a few fall individual tournaments. Maryland is a proven team in the ACC and is national ranked #32 but we're very capable of beating them. We've had two very productive days of practice so far and it's showing that our players have been working hard in the off-season. I think we're looking forward to the upcoming competition."

Report filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity