NEW HAVEN, Conn. — After a fall season of individual play, the Yale women's tennis team will open its spring campaign Jan. 17, hosting Cornell, Boston College and St. John's at the Yale Classic. Yale begins the season ranked No. 36 in the nation according to the ITA's preseason poll.
The Bulldogs, led by senior captain Annie Sullivan, saw success at both the regional and national levels this fall. Sullivan and sophomore Madeleine Hamilton each qualified for the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships, where Sullivan competed in the qualifying round and earned a win in the consolation bracket. Hamilton and Sullivan, who played doubles together through most of the fall, also reached the semifinals of USTA/ITA Northeast Regionals.
The fall has provided a good opportunity for Yale's freshmen to gain collegiate experience. Sherry Li, who joins the team from Parkland, Fl., took a leading role in Yale's matches against Purdue and Boston College, earning wins at the Nos. 2 and 1 positions, respectively. Caroline Lynch (Dublin, Ire.) recorded her first collegiate win against Virginia Tech on Oct. 4. Along with the freshman class, the 2014 season will be the first spring season for sophomore Ree Ree Li, who missed most of last year due to injury. Li had an impressive win at No. 1 against Oklahoma on Nov. 10 and is looking strong heading into the season.
Rounding out the sophomore class for the Bulldogs is Courtney Amos. Amos saw most of her action in the No. 6 position last spring and will look to move up in the lineup this season. She went 4-2 at singles in the fall and was undefeated at doubles with juniors Amber Li and Hanna Yu. Yu had the best singles record on the team this fall, going 5-1 with her only loss coming in the ITA Northeast Regionals.
With three consecutive Ivy League championships on its resume, Yale, and especially its upperclassmen, will be eager to win a fourth. The team's biggest challenge will likely come from No. 57 Columbia. The Lions tied the Bulldogs for the League title last season, as both teams posted 6-1 records in conference play. Columbia boasts the top two singles players in the region in Kanika Vaidya and Bianca Sanon, as well as the top two doubles pairs.
The Bulldogs begin the season as the highest-ranked team in the Ivy League. Three other teams broke into the rankings —No. 57 Columbia, No. 68 Harvard and No. 69 Princeton. Sullivan is the Northeast Region's No. 6 player, with Hamilton trailing her at No. 9 and Sherry Li rounding out the rankings at No. 20. Together, Hamilton and Sullivan are the region's No. 4 doubles pair.
The Bulldogs will have ample opportunity to prove themselves in different arenas this season. Following the Yale Classic (Jan. 17-19), the team will head west to the University of Michigan for the ITA Kick-off Weekend (Jan. 25-26), a four-team event featuring Tulsa and Virginia Tech, in addition to Yale and the hosts. Yale will also compete in the ITA National Team Indoors in Charlottesville, Va. (Feb. 6-9) and Alabama's Blue Gray Invite (Feb. 21-23). Later, the Bulldogs will travel to Texas (Mar. 9), Arizona State (Mar. 13) and William and Mary (Mar. 30) for head-to-head matches.The team kicks off the Ivy League season at home against Princeton on Apr. 4.
Yale's full schedule can be viewed here.
Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity