No. 45 Yale Begins Ivy League Season Against Brown

March 26, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - No. 45 Yale begins its Ivy League season this Sunday against Brown in Providence. The Bulldogs will look to improve upon their 9-4 record this season.

Over spring break, the Bulldogs traveled to Texas where they posted a 2-1 record. Last Saturday, Yale returned home for the first time since Feb. 4 to defeat Boston University 6-1.

The Bulldogs only four losses this season have all come against teams ranked in the top 30 of the ITA national rankings.

History Lesson
Last season, the Bulldogs edged Brown 4-3 on March 30 at home in their Ivy League Opener. While they lost the doubles point, Yale won four of six singles matches to win the match.

In 2007, the Bulldogs rolled to a 6-1 win over Brown in Providence. Yale won the doubles point and won five of six singles matches.

Scouting Brown
Brown is 13-2 to date this season. Brown's lone two losses came against Boston College and Princeton, two teams that Yale has defeated so far this season.

Brown finished third in the ECAC Championships with victories over Cornell and Dartmouth.

Ivy League Preview
Yale faces a tough challenge if it wants to repeat as Ivy League Champions. Last season, 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.

This season, No. 48 Princeton poses the greatest threat to the Bulldogs trying to repeat. While Yale defeated Princeton 4-3 earlier this season in the ECAC Championships, the match went down to the wire, and both teams have been tested in several tough matches since then. Three of Princeton's starters are freshmen.

ECAC Championships
Yale won this season's ECAC Championships. As the No. 1 seed, the Bulldogs traveled to Hanover to compete against six of the seven other Ivy League teams. Yale received a first round bye before defeating Dartmouth 5-2 in the semifinals. The Bulldogs pulled out a 4-3 win over Princeton in the finals.

2009 Schedule
Seven of Yale's 19 spring semester opponents were nationally ranked in preseason rankings (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).

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 is 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.

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 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.

Youth Tennis Day at Yale
Kids of all ages and abilities are invited to the Yale vs. Dartmouth match on Friday, April 17th at 2pm.

A FREE clinic, taught by the Yale Women's Tennis Team, will be offered to all kids in attendance immediately following the match. There will also be a chance to win great prizes and get an autographed team poster.

E-mail Amanda Fish (amanda.f.fish@yale.edu) to sign up!

FREE X-BOX 360!
All Blue Aces members who attend 4 or more matches will be entered into a raffle for the free X-BOX. There are only 3 more home matches (April 10, April 11 and April 17) left so mark your calendars!

Report Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity