NEW HAVEN, Conn. – No. 46 Yale came just short against No. 56 Harvard in a 4-3 defeat Sunday at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 15-6 overall and 4-2 in the Ivy League and was a major setback to Yale's hopes of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The day started off with the Crimson claiming the doubles point. Despite the duo of freshman Elizabeth Epstein and junior Stevi Petrelli winning 8-2 over Alexandra Lehman and Agnes Sibliski at No. 3 doubles, the Bulldogs lost the other two doubles matches and the doubles point.
Yale tied the match at 1-1 with a straight set victory by junior Lindsay Clark at No. 6 singles. Clark rolled to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Sibliski. The Bulldogs also took the first set at No. 5 singles, but Harvard would bounce back and win the match in three sets. With a straight set victory at No. 2 singles, the Crimson led Yale 3-1 as the other three matches went into third sets.
Senior Jessica Rhee battled back after dropping the first set 6-3 at No. 3 singles. Rhee defeated Kristin Norton 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to cut Harvard's lead to 3-2. After Vicky Brook also pulled out a three-set comeback with a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Holly Cao at No. 1 singles, the match was all tied up at three.
Harvard proved too much as they outlasted Yale in the third set at No. 4 singles to pull out the 4-3 victory.
Harvard avenged its early season 6-1 loss to Yale at the ECAC Indoor Championships and put a dent in Yale's resume for the second year in a row by handing the Bulldogs' a crucial late season Ivy League loss.
With No. 32 Princeton's 7-0 victory over Columbia, Princeton has claimed the outright Ivy League Title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
Yale will close out the season at home against No. 62 Brown Saturday. The Bulldogs will look to add another victory over a ranked team to their resume as they make a claim for an at-large bid.
1. Vicky Brook (Y) def. #67 Holly Cao (H), 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4
2. Hideko Tachibana (H) def. Stephanie Kent (Y), 7-6 (5), 6-3
3. Jessica Rhee (Y) def. Kristin Norton (H), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
4. Samantha Rosenkrans (H) def. Stevi Petrelli (Y), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3
5. Agnes Sibliski (H) def. Elizabeth Epstein (Y), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Lindsay Clark (Y) def. Alexandra Lehman (H), 6-1, 6-2
1. Cao / Rosenkrans (H) def. Brook / Clark (Y), 8-3
2. Tachibana / Norton (H) def. Rhee / Kent (Y), 8-3
3. Epstein / Petrelli (Y) def. Lehman / Sibliski (H), 8-2
Report Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity