Bulldogs Finish Third in Nation With Win Over Penn

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Shihui Mao. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

PRINCETON, N.J. — No. 4 Yale ended its 2014 season on a high note Sunday, claiming third place at the Howe Cup national championships with a 5-4 upset win over No. 3 Penn.

The Quakers had eked out a 5-4 victory earlier this year in Philadelphia, but the Bulldogs were able to reverse the score in this meeting. 

Coach Dave Talbott praised Yale's effort in the win, saying the team "really fought hard" against a strong Penn squad in a match that lasted over three hours. 

Talbott also noted Yale's strong performance at the top of the lineup. The Bulldogs took three of the top four matches, winning at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4.

In the top spot, senior Millie Tomlinson avenged her regular season defeat to Penn No. 1 Anaka Alankamony, defeating her in four games (11-4,11-9,2-11,11-5). Senior Kim Hay overcame a 2-1 deficit to win a five-game match at No. 2, while junior Issey Norman-Ross took three games in a row after going down 2-0 in the fourth position.

Penn won at Nos. 5, 6 and 7, despite staunch opposition from the Bulldogs. At No. 5, freshman Jenny Scherl jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but lost two 12-10 tiebreaks before dropping the fifth game. Captain Lilly Fast, came up short against Penn's Carey Celata in four games, but not before putting together an impressive effort to win the third, a 19-17 marathon.

The bottom two slots went to Yale, with freshman Shiyuan Mao and sophomore Annie Ballaine winning their matches at Nos. 8 and 9, respectively.

Although the Bulldogs did not reach its ultimate goal of the national championship, Talbott said the team would leave the Howe Cup feeling good about its performance this weekend, which also included a dramatic comeback win against No. 5 Princeton and a gritty effort against a powerful Harvard squad. 

"The Yale Women finished strong today. To finish the season third in the country and play the way we did today was very satisfying for the players."

Report by Evan Brown '16, Yale Sports Publicity

Results:

1WS Tomlinson,Millie 0.000 Alankamony,Anaka 0.000 11-4,11-9,2-11,11-5 Yale University C
2WS Hay,Kimberley 0.000 Tan,Yan Xin 0.000 7-11,11-3,9-11,11-8,11-7 Yale University C
3WS Mao,Shihui 0.000 Lala,Haidi 0.000 11-6,12-10,8-11,11-7 Pennsylvania, University of C
4WS Norman-Ross,Issey 0.000 Jones,Courtney B. 0.000 7-11,8-11,11-4,11-8,11-6 Yale University C
5WS Scherl,Jenny 0.000 Wong,Michelle 0.000 11-5,11-6,10-12,10-12,11-7 Pennsylvania, University of C
6WS Tilghman,Gwendoline C 0.000 Lanier,Camille I. 0.000 11-2,11-5,11-4 Pennsylvania, University of C
7WS Fast,Lillian A. 0.000 Celata,Carey L. 0.000 11-8,12-10,17-19,11-9 Pennsylvania, University of C
8WS Mao,Shiyuan 0.000 Blacker,Chloe H. 0.000 12-10,11-5,5-11,14-12 Yale University C
9WS Ballaine,Annie Y 0.000 Agnew,Ailsa B. 0.000 11-4,11-9,11-6 Yale University C
10WS Blatchford,Georgia A. 0.000 Gill,Leslie M. 0.000 18-16,11-8,13-11 Yale University

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