April 11, 2013

No. 37 Bulldogs to Host Empire State Ivies

Ivy League's Top Two Singles Players Clash in Columbia Match 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 37th ranked Yale women's tennis team (13-2, 2-0 Ivy) will play for first place in the Ivy League this weekend as it hosts Cornell (12-2, 1-2) and No. 60 Columbia (10-4, 3-0) on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The Bulldogs are undefeated in 31 consecutive home matches and are looking to claim their third straight Ivy League title. 

The team began its title quest last weekend when it took down No. 68 Princeton and Penn on the road, in both matches by a score of 5-2. Sophomore Hanna Yu had a breakout performance against Penn, denying her opponent Jaime Yapp-Shing a single game at No. 4. Freshman Madeleine Hamilton won both of her matches at No. 2 and is currently 11-4 on the season. Hamilton, who plays No. 2 doubles with sophomore Amber Li, also won both of her doubles matches last weekend. The pair is undefeated in their last five matches and boasts an 8-3 record.

After finishing seventh in the Ivy League last season and accruing a 9-10 record, the Cornell Big Red has already shown significant improvement this spring. The team is undefeated out-of-conference and edged Dartmouth 4-3 on April 5 between losses to Columbia on March 30 and Harvard on April 6. Yale leads the all-time series with Cornell 28-3. 

Columbia currently sits atop the Ivy League standings and could be Yale's toughest competition this spring. The Lions blanked Cornell and Dartmouth and defeated Harvard in a close 4-3 match to preserve their perfect Ivy record. Two Columbia players, Nicole Bartnik and Bianca Sanon, appear in the most recent national singles rankings, standing at Nos. 70 and 115, respectively. Yale's top player, senior captain Elizabeth Epstein, ranks 64th in the country and will likely face Sanon at No. 1 singles. Epstein and Sanon are the Ivy League's highest-ranking singles players.  

Both matches have 12 p.m. scheduled starts.

Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity