Elizabeth Epstein Receives Nellie Pratt Elliot Award

Elizabeth Epstein. (photo by Sam Rubin 95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Elizabeth Epstein. (photo by Sam Rubin 95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Tennis Star Selected Yale's Top Female Athlete

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Elizabeth Epstein, who helped the Yale women's tennis team win three Ivy League titles and four ECAC team championships during her outstanding career, is the recipient of the 2013 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. The award was presented at today's Class Day exercises.

The Nellie Pratt Elliot Award goes to the senior woman whose excellence in the field of athletics and in her life at Yale best represents the ideals of sportsmanship and Yale tradition. It is awarded in memory of Nellie Pratt Elliot, who was an assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale for 46 years.

­Epstein, a Chicago, Ill., native, is a three-time All-Ivy selection and a two-time winner of the team's Lisa Rosenblum Award, given to the most valuable player. In her four years, the Bulldogs posted a 24-4 record against Ivy League foes, including a perfect 7-0 mark in 2012, and made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

As a senior this spring, Epstein, the team captain, was a unanimous pick for first team All-Ivy. She played in both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, posted a 26-9 overall record and was ranked as high as No. 42 nationally in singles. Her most impressive victory came over Virginia's Julia Elbaba, who is currently ranked No. 12. She also has victories over No. 28 Kata Szekely of Tennessee and No. 54 Kaitlyn Christian of USC on her resume.

Epstein, who resided in Pierson College at Yale, also earned first team All-Ivy recognition following her junior season. She won the clinching match in Yale's victory over Saint Mary's in the NCAA Tournament, only the second NCAA win in school history. In doubles, Epstein was a second team All-Ivy selection with partner Annie Sullivan. The duo posted a 21-1 overall record.

As a sophomore, Epstein received second team All-Ivy honors and was the recipient of both the Lisa Rosenblum (MVP) and Most Improved Player team awards. She posted a 19-6 record during the spring season and was the Bulldogs' No. 1 player by the end of the year.

In her rookie year in 2009-10, Epstein was 6-1 in Ivy League matches and reached the finals of the USTA BJK NTC Women's College Invitational.

Off the court, Epstein has been involved in New Haven Tennis Outreach, mentoring and teaching tennis to young children in the New Haven public school system. She is a political science major.

All-Time Nellie Pratt Elliot Award Recipients

1976-77             Anne F. Keating                                                     Basketball/Field Hockey/Lacrosse

1977-78             Barbara A. Liebowitz                                            Basketball

1978-79             Mary C. Pew                                                            Crew

1979-80             Susanna E. Krentz                                                 Volleyball/Basketball

1980-81             Tracy Ball                                                                   Lacrosse

1981-82             Patricia A. Melton                                                 Track

1982-83             Sindee L. Simon                                                     Swimming

1983-84             Nicole W. Piasecki                                                 Lacrosse/Field Hockey

1984-85             Andrea P. Metkus                                                 Fencing

1985-86             Melissa Jane Buchan                                            Track

1986-87             Louisa Gerritz                                                          Track

1987-88             Kelly Groteke                                                          Cross Country

1988-89             Sarah P. Smith                                                        Track/Cross Country

1989-90             Tonya Lawrence                                                    Basketball

1990-91             Kristine A. Campbell                                             Fencing

1991-92             Berkeley Belknap                                                  Squash

1992-93             Anne Lehman                                                         Field Hockey

1993-94             Tasha Taylor                                                            Gymnastics

1994-95             Mary Kalich                                                              Basketball

1995-96             Kellianne Bartlett                                                  Field Hockey/Softball

1996-97             Amanda Taft                                                           Softball

1997-98             Laurie Belliveau                                                      Women's Ice Hockey

1998-99             Rosanna "Rosie" Wustrack                                Volleyball

1999-00             Heather R. Bentley                                               Lacrosse

2000-01             Meredith Bryarly                                                   Swimming and Diving

2001-02             Sarah Seung-Hee Seo                                          Golf

2002-03             Kate and Laura O'Neill                                         Track and Cross Country

2003-04             Elizabeth "Miles" Whitman                               Women's Lacrosse

2004-05             Sarah Driscoll                                                  Women's Lacrosse/Field Hockey

2005-06             Michelle Quibell                                                     Squash

                             Joslyn Woodard                                                     Track

2006-07             Rachel Jeffers                                                         Crew

2007-08             Lauren Taylor                                                          Lacrosse

2008-09             Christina Person                                                    Crew

2009-10             Susan Kim                                                                 Swimming

2010-11             Kate Grace                                                               Track

2011-12             Taylor Cramm                                                         Volleyball

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity