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Bulldogs' Senior Day This Weekend

The Yale women's tennis team. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale women's tennis team. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The Yale women's tennis team hosts Penn and Princeton this weekend for its last two home matches of the 2017-2018 season. The Bulldogs (6-14, 0-3 in Ivy League) have flourished at home (5-3) and will try and keep that record above .500.

With the last home matches of the season come the last home matches of the seniors' Yale careers, with Senior Day on Sunday recognizing their contributions over the past four years. The team will honor Valerie Shklover, Sunday Swett and Elizabeth Zordani, all of whom have had a significant impact during their time here. Shklover, from Fair Lawn, N.J., has won more than 50 singles and doubles matches during her Bulldog career, highlighted by a ITA Regional Championship quarterfinals appearance in her junior year. Swett, a Bow, N.H., resident, was elected captain at the end of last season and won the team's Special Contribution Award twice during her first three years. Zordani of Lake Forest, Ill., is the winner of more than 40 singles matches through her four years here, including 21 wins during her junior year that earned her the Lisa Rosenblum '75 Most Valuable Player Award. All three seniors have been incredibly important for the Bulldogs during their time here and will leave a hole for the team to fill going into next year.

The Princeton Tigers are the cream of the crop in the Ivy League this season, coming into Saturday's matchup at 15-3 (3-0 Ivy League). They have been impressive all season, with wins against No. 20 Auburn and Indiana, while their only losses have come to No. 23 Kentucky, No. 43 Rice and No. 42 William & Mary. They also played well against No. 17 Kansas and No. 39 LSU in the fall prior to the start of the regular season. The combination of impressive wins and lack of bad losses has led Princeton to the No. 44 ranking in the country, the best of any Ivy League team. They've gotten out to a hot start in Ivy League play, with dominant wins over Penn, Cornell and Columbia, largely thanks to the No. 89 doubles team in the country, Nicole Kalhorn and Stephanie Schrage. The Tigers are coached by two-time Ivy League Coach of the Year Laura Granville.

The Quakers (8-10, 1-2 in Ivy League) have performed well despite a difficult schedule. Of their losses, four have come against ranked teams: No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Pepperdine, No 47 Old Dominion and No. 44 Princeton. They are coming off a tight 4-3 win against Cornell, their first win in conference play. Penn is 0-6 on the road this year, so the Quakers will be especially eager to steal a win in New Haven this weekend. Look for Senior Ria Vaidya, former Second-Team All-Ivy Leaguer, to challenge Samantha Martinelli in the No. 1 match.

This is the first time that the Bulldogs will face either team this season. Play starts at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday against Princeton and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday against Penn.

Report by Vig Namasivayam '20, Yale Sports Publicity