January 31, 2013

No. 24 Bulldogs to Host Florida International, No. 37 Arkansas

Bulldogs Return Home After ITA Kick-Off Weekend

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After an action-packed ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Mississippi, the No. 24 Bulldogs will stay in New Haven this weekend to host Florida International on Friday and No. 37 Arkansas on Sunday.

The team had a strong showing in Mississippi, upsetting the host Ole Miss (ranked No. 19 at the time) but eventually coming up short against No. 21 Vanderbilt in the finals. In the Vanderbilt match, freshman Madeleine Hamilton, ranked No. 90 nationally, defeated No. 91 Marie Casares at No. 1 singles.

The Bulldogs won the doubles point against Mississippi but lost it against Vanderbilt. That represented just the third time in 25 matches over the past two seasons that Yale has lost the doubles point. The Bulldogs' duo of sophomores Amber Li and Hanna Yu is currently ranked No. 53 in the country. In addition to Hamilton, the Bulldogs also have two other ranked singles players in senior captain Elizabeth Epstein (No. 42) and junior Blair Seideman (No. 31). Yale's No. 5 singles player, junior Annie Sullivan, is 2-0 this spring after posting an 8-2 record in the fall.

Friday's match will be only the second of the season for Florida International, who lost to Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 26. The Bulldogs enter the match at 2-1, with wins over Delaware State and Ole Miss. 

Arkansas, Yale's Sunday opponent, has already proven itself this season. The Razorbacks began spring competition with a series of 7-0 sweeps over Prairie View A&M, University of Texas - Pan American, and Lamar. The team also competed in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, where they lost to No. 14 Northwestern in the first round but defeated No. 35 Washington State in the consolation match. 

Both matches this weekend will be played in the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. The Bulldogs take on Florida International at 5 p.m. on Friday before facing Arkansas at 11 a.m. on Sunday. 

Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity