Sept. 20, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's tennis team was recognized for winning the 2008 Ivy League Championship at ceremonies Saturday. The Bulldogs were honored at halftime of the Yale-Georgetown football game and received their Ivy League Championship rings during a dinner at the new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.
Yale posted a perfect 7-0 Ivy League record en route to its first outright Ivy League Title since 1981 and first NCAA Tournament Berth ever.
The team was applauded by the 12,771 people in attendance at the football game as the public address announcer read a short statement recognizing the team's accomplishments.
Director of Athletics Tom Beckett addressed players, coaches, parents, and other members of the Yale athletic community during a celebratory dinner at the brand new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.
"You brought this spectacular gift to the Yale campus," Beckett said referring to the Ivy League Championship trophy. "This entire University is proud of what you have achieved. Everyone in the world of college tennis, knows Yale tennis. On behalf of President Levin and the entire Yale community, I want to congratulate you."
After recognizing all those in the Yale community who helped the women's tennis team win the Ivy League Championship, Head Coach Danielle Lund McNamara had a special message for the players on the team.
"And to the team, the first thing I want to say is thank you. You gave me the opportunity to do a dream job," McNamara said.
After acknowledging many of the team's accomplishments both on and off the court, McNamara highlighted three lessons the team had learned from its Championship run.
"The first lesson, it's never over til it's over," she said referring to the dramatic way in which Yale clinched its Ivy League Championship with a 4-3 victory over Dartmouth. "Lesson number two, a court is a court and tennis is tennis, no matter where you are." McNamara's third lesson spoke to how a team and its players are only as good as they believe they are, and "confidence is earned through preparation."
McNamara presented each member of the team with her Ivy League Championship ring before captain Lilian Nguyen and Lindsey Dashiell '08, the only senior on last year's team, spoke to the people in attendance at the dinner.
"It was like a really big roller coaster ride," Dashiell said in referring to the Championship run. "The short time I've been away has made me realize how much I enjoyed being a student athlete here at Yale."
The day was made more remarkable with the sneak peak of the new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center as part of the dinner. Although the official dedication is not until November 1, the ring ceremony dinner provided a glimpse of the fabulous eight-court facility complete with a spectacular viewing area and lobby.
Report Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity