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Yale, Dartmouth Share Women's Tennis Title, Bulldogs Receive NCAA Automatic Bid

Yale's Stevi Petrelli
Yale's Stevi Petrelli

Portions and photos courtesy of Dartmouth Athletic Communications and Yale Sports Publicity

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Yale and Dartmouth capped off their seasons in winning fashions to share the 2011 Ivy League women's tennis title.

Yale (21-4, 6-1 Ivy) defeated Brown 4-3 in its regular-season finale for its sixth Ivy women's tennis title and first since 2008, while Dartmouth (14-8, 6-1 Ivy) edged Harvard 4-3 to win a share of its first-ever League title in women's tennis. By virtue of its April 17 win over Dartmouth, Yale receives the League's automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships. The championship bracket will be announced on Tuesday, May 3.

In Yale's win, the match was tied at 3-3 with only senior captain Stevi Petrelli left playing, in the No. 6 spot against Brown's Julie Flanzer. Petrelli dropped the first set in a tiebreak, and then won the second one 6-4 to tie the match.  In an electric atmosphere, Petrelli and Flanzer both battled muscle cramps in the final set. Flanzer eventually went up 40-0 with the set score at 5-4 in her favor, leaving Petrelli with three match points to defend. Petrelli won them all to save Yale's chances, and went on to win the game. She also took the two games after it to win the match.

In Dartmouth's dramatic win, the Big Green lost the doubles point and at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots, but the Big Green rebounded with wins at the four other matches to claim the victory. Melissa Matsuoka won at the third spot, 6-4, 6-4 over Harvard's Kristin Norton. At fourth singles, Ryan Reichel won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Senior Georgiana Smyser competed at fifth singles, and her match was the only one to go three sets. After losing the first set, 3-6, Smyser came back to win the next two, 6-3, 6-3. Sophomore Christina Danosi claimed the fourth point for the Big Green at sixth singles, 6-2, 6-2, over Samantha Gridley.

The Big Green, ranked 56th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings as of April 16, along with Brown (15-9, 4-3 Ivy) ranked 50th and Princeton (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) ranked 51st, should receive some at-large consideration for the NCAA championship field.

No. 34 Yale 4, No. 51 Brown 3
1. Sullivan/Lindsay Clark (Yale) def. B. Aboubakare/Harrow (Brown) 9-7
2. Brook/Epstein (Yale) def. Caldwell/Herzberg (Brown) 8-2
3. Flanzer/Krasowski (Brown) def. Seideman/Kim Szokol (Yale) 8-6

1. Misia Krasowski (Brown) def. Vicky Brook (Yale) 6-4, 6-0
2. Cassandra Herzberg (Brown) def. Elizabeth Epstein (Yale) 7-5, 6-4
3. Blair Seideman (Yale) def. Bianca Aboubakare (Brown) 6-1, 6-2
4. Stephanie Kent (Yale) def. Jessica Harrow (Brown) 7-5, 1-6, 6-2
5. Ariel Caldwell (Brown) def. Annie Sullivan (Yale) 7-5, 6-4
6. Stevi Petrelli (Yale) def. Julie Flanzer (Brown) 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5




No 56 Dartmouth 4, No. 55 Harvard 3
1. Tachibana/Norton (Harvard) def. Scott/Danosi(Dartmouth) 8-2
2. Cao/Morrill(Harvard) def. R. Reichel/Smyser(Dartmouth) 8-5
3. J. Reichel/Matsuoka(Dartmouth) def. Blosser/Alexandra Lehman(Harvard) 8-5

1. Holly Cao (Harvard) def. Molly Scott (Dartmouth) 6-2, 6-0
2. Hideko Tachibana (Harvard) def. Sarah Leonard (Dartmouth) 6-3, 6-2
3. Melissa Matsuoka (Dartmouth) def. Kristin Norton (Harvard) 6-4, 6-4
4. Ryan Reichel (Dartmouth) def. Natalie Blosser (Harvard) 6-4, 6-3
5. Georgiana Smyser (Dartmouth) def. Hannah Morrill (Harvard) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Christina Danosi (Dartmouth) def. Samantha Gridley (Harvard) 6-2 6-2