MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Yale women's tennis team faced their toughest test of the season in No. 5 Illinois on Friday afternoon and performed exceptionally in the role of underdog in their first match of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, losing 4-1 while playing several tight matches along the way.
The Bulldogs got their day started off on the right foot by winning the first two doubles matches to stake claim to the doubles point. Valerie Shklover and Amy Yang teamed up to win their match by two breaks, 6-2, before Samantha Martinelli and Elizabeth Zordani won their match in a tightly contested 7-5 set. Sarah Cameron and Sunday Swett played their third match and fell 6-2, but the Bulldogs held a 1-0 lead at the conclusion of doubles play.
Yale lost the first three singles matches, with Cameron, Swett, and Zordani on the wrong end of the scoreline. Skhlover played a tight first set, losing 7-5 to No. 79 Jamie Switzkes, before falling 6-1 to seal the victory for the Fighting Illini. Martinelli was up a set and on serve in the second set before her match concluded, while Amy Yang rebounded from a 6-0 first set loss to take the second 6-4. Her match was called before the third set began.
Overall, it was an impressive outing for the Bulldogs, who showed resilience against one of the top teams in the nation. Their next match will come against the loser of Auburn and Denver (live scoring available here). The first half of that match will be played later today and conclude tomorrow. Full results are available below.
FULL MATCH RESULTS – Illinois 4, Yale 1
1. Kawai (I) v. Martinelli (Y) DNF 5-7, 5-4
2. Switkes (I) def. Shklover (Y) 7-5, 6-1
3. Rabinowitz (I) v. Yang (Y) DNF 6-0, 4-6
4. Duong (I) def. Zordani (Y) 6-0, 6-0
5. Novak (I) def. Cameron (Y) 6-0, 6-0
6. Belaya (I) def. Swett (Y) 6-0, 6-3
1. Martinelli/Zordani (Y) d. Duong/Switzkes (I) 7-5
2. Shklover/Yang (Y) def. Belaya/Novak (I) 6-2
3. Kawai/Rabinowitz (I) def. Cameron/Swett (Y) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,4,6,2)