Best in Region Again: Bulldogs Sit atop Final ITA Northeast Rankings

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Amber Li and Vicky Brook. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A week after achieving the highest final ITA national ranking in school history, the Ivy League champion Yale women's tennis team added another accomplishment. The Bulldogs finished the season ranked No. 1 in the ITA's Northeast Region rankings, which were released Wednesday. This was the second straight season Yale has finished the year ranked No. 1 in the region. Yale also had three players ranked in the regional top 16 in singles, plus two doubles teams ranked among the regional top six -- more than any other school in either category. The Bulldogs also had a pair of doubles teams earn national rankings.

Yale's No. 1 singles player, junior Elizabeth Epstein (Chicago, Ill.), was ranked No. 2 in the Northeast Region. Epstein, who has been chosen captain for 2012-13, posted a 16-7 singles record. She earned the Rosenblum Award as team MVP and was a unanimous first team All-Ivy League selection.  

Yale's primary No. 2 singles player, sophomore Blair Seideman (Brookville, N.Y.), was ranked No. 7 in the region. She went 16-7 and was a second team All-Ivy selection. The Bulldogs' primary No. 3 singles player, freshman Hanna Yu (Northbrook, Ill.), was tied for No. 16 in the region. She went 16-6.

The Bulldogs were dominant in doubles this season, winning the doubles point 22 times in 24 matches. Senior Vicky Brook (London, England), who was a part of Yale's No. 1 doubles team for all but one match this spring, wound up being recognized in the ITA rankings on a pair of teams. She and Yu were ranked No. 57 in the final national rankings. They went 7-8 together, with wins over four teams ranked in the top 82 in the country -- including an 8-4 victory over Marie-Pier Huet and Whitney Ritchie of Oklahoma, who ended the year ranked No. 21.

The team of Brook and freshman Amber Li (Tampa, Fla.), which went 6-3 (all but one match at No. 1 doubles) and earned a first team All-Ivy League selection, was ranked No. 5 in the final Northeast Region rankings. Right behind that team was the team of Epstein and sophomore Annie Sullivan (Deerfield, Ill.), ranked No. 6 in the region. Epstein and Sullivan went 21-1 this spring, playing all but one match at No. 2, and made second team All-Ivy. They also earned a final national ranking of No. 87.

Yale had a 9-1 record against the other nine teams in the top 10 in the Northeast Region. The Bulldogs went 20-4 overall, and had a 10-match winning streak at the end of the season that was snapped by No. 5 Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In March, they reached an all-time in-season high in the ITA national rankings (No. 18). Yale was ranked No. 29 in the country in the final ITA national rankings.

The Bulldogs, who were undefeated Ivy League champions and won an NCAA tournament match for the second time in school history, were the highest-ranked Ivy League team in the final national poll -- 35 spots ahead of the next-best team, No. 64 Brown. In addition to winning the Ivy title, the Bulldogs also won their fourth straight ITA Indoor Championship.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity