This weekend women’s squash took a road trip to Philadelphia for a Thursday match against the University of Pennsylvania which it lost, 8-1. The team then traveled onto New Jersey for the weekend’s Constable Tournament.
The Constable is an individual tournament held every year at Princeton. The tournament has four draws: Constable, A, B and C.
Williams co-captain and one-spot player Adrienne Ellman ’03 was in the Constable draw â€” which is by invitation to the top 16 collegiate women players â€” and she played well amid the competition from college players that were junior national champions from around the world.
Because the Constable is an individual tournament, it is a great chance to play people from other schools you would not necessarily play during a dual match. Also, everyone plays 3-7 matches over the course of the tournament, which allows players to build and test their fitness level in a tournament setting that is similar to what they will face in Nationals.
The Ephwomen provided much support to their fellow teammates throughout the tournament, and by rooting for one another they were able to maintain a team-like atmosphere in an individualistic tournament.
“Even though the tournament was individual, our team came together and worked well to help each other throughout the weekend,” Andrea Berberian ’05 said. “I think our team was much better than any of the other teams when it came to supporting teammates.” Each time an Eph was on court, several of her teammates would be there in the stands cheering throughout the match and coaching in between games.
Berberian herself had an impressive weekend, winning three of her four matches which placed her third in the B draw.
Williams’ Clare Whipple ’05 was the only Eph in the A draw. She won three of her five matches, losing in the semi-finals of the consolation to Clare Austin who went on to win the finals.
“We went into our weekend with an upsetting loss to UPenn. The matches were played well and there were some close games but the score was an upsetting 1-8,” Kate Neal ’04 said. “But at the Constable tournament we had the chance to play some of the Penn girls again in a different setting and the results were a lot better and the team had some exciting wins.”
“It was a long weekend of squash but a great experience nonetheless,” Holly Houghton ’06 said. “We got an early preview of the upcoming match against Princeton. Everyone played hard and had great wins.”
Houghton actually came up against fellow Eph Lizzie Reifenheiser ’06 in the semi-finals of the C draw. Reifenheiser (5-0 for the weekend) went on to win the draw in a hard-fought match against Princeton’s co-captain Helen Smith. The two will meet again this weekend when Williams plays Princeton at Yale on Sunday.
The Penn match was a good opener for the long weekend of match play.
Their strong team was the closest match the Ephs have had yet this session, though in the end Penn came away with a decisive 8-1 victory.
The one Williams win came from the first-year match-up at the seven spot where Neal beat Penn’s Colleen Gurda.
While talented first-years made up the bottom of Penn’s ladder, it was the international force of Penn’s top players that proved to be the most stifling for the Ephs. Penn’s #1 Runa Reta went on the place second overall in the weekend’s Constable Tournament.
This weekend will be another busy one for the Ephs. They will battle for the seventh ranking against Brown on Friday. Saturday is an exhibition match against Greenwich Academy and Sunday is the Princeton match.
The Ephs success in the tournament will build the team’s overall confidence going into this weekend’s matches and Little Three’s next weekend.