Tennis fails in quest for first Ivy win, losing to Yale and Brown

by Schuyler Evans | 4/25/07 12:56pm

Women's tennis dropped two matches to Ivy rivals Yale and Brown.
by Kate Caster / The Dartmouth

Yale (11-8, 6-1 Ivy) was recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for its strong tennis with a No. 67 ranking last Tuesday. Going into the match against Dartmouth (8-10, 0-6), Yale had only lost one Ivy League match, against undefeated Ivy champs Penn.

Dartmouth's performance against Yale was nearly a mirror image of its Columbia and Cornell matches. The Big Green was up early, taking the doubles point, but only managed to win at No. 5 singles with a 6-4, 6-4 victory by Jesse Adler '10 and at No. 6 singles with a 6-2, 6-3 win by Carley Markovitz '10.

In doubles play, Dartmouth came out against Yale with a sense of urgency. The recently reunited No. 2 doubles team of sisters Mary Beth Winingham '10 and Lindsay Winingham '07 won a tight match, 8-6.

An off-court slip forced Mary Beth Winingham to miss the three previous matches, including Friday's Brown contest.

The No. 3 doubles team of Adler and Maggie Suydam '09 was able to clinch the doubles point, winning 8-6 over the Bulldogs.

According to captain Kerry Snow '07, Dartmouth came into the match trying to ruin the Bulldogs' season.

"Yale is just a tough team," Snow said. "I think on another day we could have been more successful. I think different individuals peak at different times, and I don't feel like people were playing their best tennis."

Friday's match against Brown (8-11, 3-3 Ivy) had a unique environment. The sun was shining down and classic rock from nearby fraternities could be heard on the courts adjacent to Topliff Hall. As opposed to the secluded Boss Tennis Center, the outdoor courts brought in casual spectators from the street.

"It is definitely different than playing in Boss. It's a great atmosphere and we have lots of people around," Megan Zebroski '08 said. "It's great to have that support from people on campus."

As pleasant as the weather was Friday afternoon, some viewed the outdoor venue as a possible distraction.

"It was a different feeling having all of the fans. You need to keep your head in your own match and not look around," Snow said.

Both teams had to deal with the sun in their eyes during serves, a slight wind and a divided court that only allowed five matches at a time, partitioning the top singles players from the rest of their team.

"I think you have to adjust your game a little bit. You have to deal with the wind and the sun," Zebroski said.

With Mary Beth Winningham sitting out against Brown, other players were forced to move up one spot in the rotation. Head coach Bob Dallis thought his squad responded well to the roster change, but improvement in the team's play is needed.

"We are going to have to play a tiny bit better and just try to play the key points a little bit better," Dallis said.

Dartmouth was unable to take the doubles point, losing out in the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. The No. 2 doubles group of Lindsay Winingham and Adler was able to win their match convincingly, going 8-1 over Brown's second tandem.

Dartmouth had a big win in No. 1 singles after Zebroski bounced back from a rough 3-6 first set with a robust 6-1 response in the second set and a close win in the third set, 7-5.

At No. 5 singles, Markovitz earned the first of two wins on the weekend, going 6-4, 6-2.

The rest of Dartmouth's singles players fell to Brown, giving Brown the overall victory, 5-2.

Dartmouth's last chance to win an Ivy League match comes on Wednesday when the Big Green travels to Cambridge, Mass., to play Harvard at 3 p.m.