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Two Players Advance to Round of 16 at ITA Regionals

Valerie Shklover (photo by Steve Musco).
Valerie Shklover (photo by Steve Musco).

All Five Bulldogs Earn Singles Wins; Martinelli, Shklover Advance to Round of 16

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Five members of the Yale women's tennis team competed in Philadelphia at the ITA Northeast Regionals on Friday, notching a combined 7-3 record in singles and winning their only doubles match. On a day when each player contributed with a victory, first-year Samantha Martinelli and senior Valerie Shklover stood out, as the two won back-to-back singles matches to advance to the main draw round of 16.

Friday's action began with doubles, and the Elis seized the initiative from the outset. As the lone Yale pairing still in the tournament, Martinelli and Elizabeth Zordani faced a seeded opponent in Connecticut's Cassie Chung and Yelyzaveta Petnyeva; the Yale pairing rose to the occasion, however, playing masterfully in a lopsided 8-4 victory. 

Friday's singles action featured a total of ten matches (two for each player). Here is a breakdown of how each player fared:

Mimi Levine: won her first match against Army's Kirby Enick by the score 6-1, 6-3; fell to Dartmouth's Kristina Mathis (a higher seed) 6-4, 6-2 in the following round.

Samantha Martinelli: dominated her first match 6-0, 6-0 against Syracuse's Libi Mesh. Followed up this victory with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 comeback win over Brown's Devon Jack in the next round to improve her singles record on the season to a perfect 5-0. 

Valerie Shklover: opened the day with a three-set win over seeded opponent Alina Abdurakhimova of Temple. Recorded another upset in her next match, coming back from a set deficit to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 against seeded Tanja Stojanovska of Buffalo.

Amy Yang: Pulled off a remarkable comeback in her first match, claiming a 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Boston College's Natasha Irani; fell to LIU's Anna Grigoryan in straight sets in the subsequent round of 32.  

Elizabeth Zordani: Played a marathon three-set match against Dartmouth's Julia Schroeder in her first match, holding on to win 7-5, 3-6, 7-5; came up short in a straight-set loss to Princeton's Katrine Steffensen in the following round.

Considering that two of their players have advanced to compete among the 16 top competitors in the Northeast region, the Bulldogs have done exceptionally well so far this weekend. Still, competition will only get tougher as the tournament progresses. Updated draws for the ITA Northeast Regionals are available here (singles) and here (doubles).

Report by Cameron Ferguson '18, Yale Sports Publicity