No. 34 Yale Records Third-Place Finish at Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic with Win over No. 40 Ohio State

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

No. 1 Seeded Bulldogs Secure Doubles Point, Li Clinches in Singles

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Yale women's tennis team finished its showing at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic on a high note Sunday, as the squad topped No. 40 Ohio State (8-6, 1-1 Big Ten) to achieve a third-place result.  Playing at the O'Connor Tennis Center, No. 34 Yale (10-2, 0-0 Ivy) won the doubles point before quickly gaining three singles victories with minimal fuss to complete the 4-1 win.

The Bulldogs put in a strong effort in doubles, with the No. 1 duo of senior captain Elizabeth Epstein and junior Annie Sullivan posting a comfortable 8-2 win over the Buckeyes' No. 1 duo of Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley.  Yale then secured the doubles point when its No. 2 tandem of freshman Madeleine Hamilton and sophomore Amber Li overcame the Ohio State pairing of Grainne O'Neill and Gabby Steele 8-6.

Yale carried its momentum over to singles, as evidenced by No. 99 Epstein's 6-3, 6-1 win over Fidan Manashirova at the No. 2 singles spot.  Epstein's doubles partner, Sullivan, dropped even fewer games in a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Cecil at No. 3 singles.  Sullivan has put together an impressive undefeated 11-0 record so far in her penultimate season as a Bulldog.  Li, playing at No. 5 singles, clinched Yale's victory over the No. 2 seeded Buckeyes by winning the only three-set clash of the match.  Li dropped the first set to her opponent, O'Neill, but quickly regrouped to surge through the last two sets to record the 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 triumph.

No. 47 Virginia, who handed Yale its second defeat of the season on Saturday, won the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic with a 4-1 victory over No. 50 Tulane.  

Ohio State now enters a stretch of conference play, with its next encounter coming on Friday against No. 20 Purdue.

Yale, meanwhile, will return to its home courts on Mar. 30 for its final match before the start of the Ivy League stretch, which begins on Apr. 5.  The Bulldogs take on Rutgers in this final non-conference match of the season.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity

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 Position  Yale University  Ohio State University  Winner  Score
 #1 Singles  Madeleine Hamilton  #53 Kelsey Dieters  Unfinished  6-2 5-5
 #2 Singles  #99 Elizabeth Epstein  Fidan Manashirova  Yale University  6-3 6-1
 #3 Singles  Annie Sullivan  Kara Cecil  Yale University  6-1 6-2
 #4 Singles  Hanna Yu  Gabby Steele  Ohio State University  6-2 6-2
 #5 Singles  Amber Li  Grainne O'Neill  Yale University  1-6 6-2 6-0
 #6 Singles  Courtney Amos  Noelle Malley  Unfinished  3-6 3-4
 #1 Doubles  Elizabeth Epstein
 Annie Sullivan
 Noelle Malley
 Kara Cecil
 Yale University  8-2
 #2 Doubles  Amber Li
 Madeleine Hamilton
 Gabby Steele
 Grainne O'Neill
 Yale University  8-6
 #3 Doubles  Courtney Amos
 Hanna Yu
 Kelsey Dieters
 Fidan Manashirova
 Unfinished  7-4