Women’s squash Little Three champs

Following the lead of almost every other team on campus this year, women’s squash won the Little Three title on Saturday at Wesleyan with victories over Amherst and Wesleyan. The wins marked the third Little Three championship in a row for the Ephs and gives them confidence going into the Howe Cup, the season-ending team tournament.

It also gave co-captains Selma Kikic ’02 and Katherine French ’02 wins in their last regular season matches.  With the wins, the Ephs improved their regular season record to eight wins against five losses.

The Ephs took on the host Cardinals missing their top two players, Adrienne Ellman ’03, and Kikic, who were both fighting illness.  Despite this subtraction, which forced the entire lineup to move up two spots, the Ephs still rolled over the outmatched Cardinals 9-0.  Every person in the lineup defeated her respective Wesleyan opponent 3-0, displaying to the crowd the talent level and depth of the program.

When facing Amherst, Kikic entered the lineup despite her illness and played out of the number one position as Julie Greenwood, head coach of women’s squash, chose to hold out Ellman.

Even though Kikic was playing out of position and was under the weather, she took Amherst’s Susanna Burke to five games before losing 3-2.  The rest of the lineup, forced to move up and play out of position, stepped up and rolled through the Lord Jeffs lineup to clinch an 8-1 victory.

The two wins helped to put the Ephs back on the winning track after suffering losses to top-ranked Harvard and fifth-ranked Brown earlier in the season. On Wednesday, the team took on Hotchkiss in a match that was beneficial to both teams.Â

Facing a high school team, Greenwood got to rest some of her veteran players, such as Ellman and Kikic, while giving several first years some playing time.Â

At the top of the lineup, Andrea Berberian ’05 and Joanna Leathers ’05, along with Susan Fulmer ’02 won their respective matches. However, the rest of the lineup could not come through with a win, and the Ephs dropped the match 4-3.Â

Despite the loss, the match allowed some of the varsity players to move up in the lineup and gave others a chance to play, while giving the team from Hotchkiss an opportunity to face some strong competition.

Having concluded their dual match schedule, the team will now focus on the team championships this week while some of the top players will also be looking forward to the individual championships at the end of February.Â

With its regular season performance, the Ephs will get to play in the “A” division of the Howe Cup as the number seven seed after being at the top of “B” division the last couple of years. While there will be some superior teams in the division, such as Harvard and Trinity, the Ephs should be competitive with most of the others teams, and will possibly get a shot at redemption against rivals such as Brown and Dartmouth, against whom the Ephs lost earlier in the year.

“Some of the team has been sickly recently,” said Berberian.  “Hopefully, we will be able to get healthy this week so that we can go into this weekend with our lineup at full strength.”

The showdown begins with matches on Friday at Yale.