No. 39 Yale Brings Four-Match Winning Streak into Doubleheader Weekend

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

Bulldogs to Face St. John's and DePaul at Home  

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Just one month before the start of the Ivy League stretch in April, the Yale women's tennis team finds itself on a roll, having won four matches in a row, all at home, and six of the seven matches it has played so far this season.  No. 39 Yale (6-1, 0-0 Ivy) will look to maintain this momentum when it returns to the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center this weekend for two matches against stout competition.  On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., Yale will take on St. John's (5-5, 1-1 Big East), and on Sunday at 11:00 a.m., Yale will challenge No. 75 DePaul (9-5, 1-2 Big East). 

When the Bulldogs last took to their home courts over a week ago, they served up a pair of comprehensive victories over Boston University and Miami (Ohio) to extend their undefeated streak at Cullman-Heyman to five matches.  Yale's exceptional doubles play set the tone for both of these encounters, and the Bulldogs will look to replicate this form against this weekend's opponents.  In particular, senior captain Elizabeth Epstein and junior Annie Sullivan anchored the Bulldogs' efforts by posting dominant wins at the No. 2 doubles spot against the Terriers and the Red Hawks.  Yale's No. 1 tandem of freshman Madeleine Hamilton and sophomore Amber Li is coming off a confidence-boosting victory over Miami's No. 1 doubles team.  Meanwhile, the reliable pairing of junior Blair Seideman and sophomore Hanna Yu has enjoyed success at No. 3 doubles.

Yale has been consistently strong in singles throughout the season, with several players having put together impressive individual win-loss records.  At the No. 1 position in the lineup, Hamilton is 5-2.  No. 73 Epstein, who has been a dependable No. 2 player for the Bulldogs, will look to use her wealth of experience and talent to bring her 6-1 win-loss mark to even greater heights in the upcoming matches.  Yu had a stellar weekend at Cullman-Heyman two weeks ago, conceding only five games between her two matches.  Both Li and Sullivan are undefeated in singles so far this season.

St. John's has lost three of its last four matches, but the lone win was the Red Storm's recent 5-1 victory over Florida Atlantic, which means Yale will certainly have to be wary of the upset.  DePaul is currently on a three-match losing slide, but two of these defeats came by a score of 4-3.  The Blue Demons will also be facing No. 68 Princeton on Friday before traveling to Yale. 

Interestingly, the Bulldogs have not faced St. John's since 2009, a match that resulted in a 7-0 Yale sweep.  They also have not played DePaul since a 2005 match that saw Yale record a 5-2 triumph.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity