WEST POINT, N.Y. – Saturday, the Yale women's tennis team pushed two pairs into the quarterfinals at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championships, with five of the six competitors in singles also still in contention.
Doubles, a major strength of the Bulldog squad last season that only dropped two doubles points all year, is shaping up to be an advantage again. Despite almost no experience in playing together, the combination of senior captain Elizabeth Epstein and her partner, sophomore Hanna Yu, along with the pair of junior Annie Sullivan and freshman Madeleine Hamilton are both three victories away from winning the tournament.
In Saturday's action, the eighth seeded Epstein and Yu were matched up against Army's Erin Colton and Jamila Paul, the sixteenth seed. Epstein and Yu were in a tight match early, falling nearly even with Colton and Paul at 4-3, but from there on the Yale duo was unstoppable, winning each subsequent game to take the match 8-3. Their quarterfinal match will come Sunday against Penn's Sol Eskenazi and Sonya Latycheva, the No. 3 seed. Eskenazi is ranked at No. 35 nationally with partner Julianna Rodin, but, like Epstein, is playing with a different partner.
Sullivan, who went 21-1 with Epstein last year to earn a No. 40 ranking this season, combined with Hamilton to top Princeton's Katherine Flanigan and Emily Hahn. The Yale pairing, seeded No. 4, kept the match close up until the score was 6-5, after which they pulled away to advance into the quarterfinals with an 8-5 win. Their opponents will hail from Boston College, in the form of Olga Khmylev and Jessica Wacnik. Khmylev, much like Eskenazi and Epstein, is ranked No. 39 when playing with Alex Kelleher, but is playing with Wacnik for the first time.
Singles scores have not yet been released, but the five Yale players with byes all won their matches. Epstein, the second seed, the third seeded Seideman, No. 7 Yu, twelfth ranked Sullivan and No. 16 Hamilton are all into the round of 32, and could advance into the quarterfinals with two victories tomorrow.
Freshman Courtney Amos fell in three sets to BC's Julia Casselbury.
Epstein/Yu (Yale) def. Colton/Paul (Army): 8-3
Hamilton/Sullivan (Yale) def. Flanigan/Hahn (Princeton): 8-5
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity