Bears Open Ivy Play with 4-3 Upset Win over #45 Yale

March 29, 2009

PROVIDENCE, RI - The Brown women's tennis team (15-2) upset #45 Yale, 4-3, in the Ivy League opener for both teams on Sunday afternoon, with the Bears winning their 11th straight match. The match was played indoors due to the inclement weather in the Providence area, as the teams battled for nearly five hours.

Ultimately the match came down to the early doubles point, as the two teams split the six singles matches with Brown winning at #1, #2, and #6, and Yale earning wins at #3, #4, and #5. The two teams split the first two doubles matches off the court, as Yale earned an 8-3 win at #2 doubles by taking five straight games after the score was knotted at 3-3.

Immediately after #2 finished, Brown tied the doubles action when juniors Emily Ellis (Fort Worth, TX) and Kathrin Sorokko (Douglaston, NY) served out their match to post an 8-3 win at #3 doubles. The win was their 16th as a pairing, as they are now three doubles wins away from tying the Brown record for doubles wins in a season by a single team, set last year by current sophomores Bianca Aboubakare (Orange, CA) and Marisa Schonfeld (Washington, DC).

Bianca Aboubakare and freshman Cassandra Herzberg (Miami Beach, FL) clinched the doubles point in a match that took over an hour, breaking their opponents to win the match, 9-7, and give Brown a 1-0 lead. With the victory, the duo remains undefeated on the season, having picked up their eighth win, all at #1 doubles.

Singles action began and Yale quickly tied the match at 1-1 and then moments later took a 2-1 lead by winning at #4 (6-2, 6-0) and #3 (6-3, 6-1) singles. Bianca Aboubakare then tied the match at 2-2 with a victory over #116 Janet Kim, the 2008 Ivy League Player of the Year, at #1 singles, 6-2, 6-4.

Following Bianca Aboubakare's win, three freshmen remained on the court. Herzberg, who was locked in a three-set battle at #2 singles, and Carissa Aboubakare (Orange, CA) and Julie Flanzer (Highland Park, IL), who had just stepped onto the court to play #5 and #6, respectively. Carissa Aboubakare was down in the first set, 6-5, and her opponent was about to take the set, 7-5.

After going up by as many as 4-1 and then 5-2 in the decisive set, Herzberg held serve to clinch the match for the Bears with a 6-3 third-set win. Herzberg, who shares the team-lead for singles wins this season with Bianca Aboubakare at 21, was on the singles court for almost two-and-a-half hours.

Carissa Aboubakare eventually lost her second set, 6-2, for the 4-3 final.

The Bears travel to Penn and #48 Princeton next weekend for a pair of League matches Friday at 2:00 against the Quakers and Saturday at 12:00 against the Tigers. In their Ivy opener yesterday, the Tigers posted a 7-0 win over Penn.

Brown 4, #45 Yale 3
Doubles
#1 B. Aboubakare/Herzberg (Brown) def. Brook/Clark (Yale) 9-7
#2 Kim/Rhee (Yale) def. (#64) C. Aboubakare/Mansur (Brown) 8-3
#3 Emily Ellis/Kathrin Sorokko (Brown) def. Silia DeFilippis/Nguyen (Yale) 8-3
Order of Finish: 2,3,1
Singles
#1 Bianca Aboubakare (Brown) def. (#116) Janet Kim (Yale) 6-2, 6-4
#2 Cassandra Herzberg (Brown) def. Jessica Rhee (Yale) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
#3 Vicky Brook (Yale) def. Tanja Vucetic (Brown) 6-3, 6-1
#4 Lindsay Clark (Yale) def. Sara Mansur (Brown) 6-2, 6-0
#5 Stevi Petrelli (Yale) def. Carissa Aboubakare (Brown) 7-5, 6-2
#6 Julie Flanzer (Brown) def. Lilian Nguyen (Yale) 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 4,3,1,6,2,5