After a series of strong matches against Yale, Middlebury, Bates and Mount Holyoke, women’s squash (7-6, 4-1 in the NESCAC) faced a difficult opponent this past weekend, falling to UPenn 8-1 in Philadelphia.
The Quakers took down the Ephs in fairly quick three-game matches. The team did show its depth, though, with a victory at the bottom of the ladder by its number nine player, Stephanie Barnet ’10. Barnet took out UPenn’s Anita Sellers with an efficient 9-0, 9-0, 9-4 match.
“Although we had a tough weekend losing to Penn,” co-captain Toby Eyre ’10 said, “I think we are ready to take on Dartmouth and hopefully beat them to regain a spot in the top 8.”
Most of the players are viewing the past weekend as great preparation for today’s match against Dartmouth, one of the team’s closest rivals. “Even in our toughest matches, we’ve had close calls and pushed back against some of the strongest teams in the country,” said co-captain Claire Hsu ’09.
While the players have been battling against a number of injuries and illnesses, the team seems to be fully recovering and in great condition for their upcoming matches.
At the start of the previous weekend, the Ephs forced the Bulldogs to fight for their 9-0 victory, pushing some of the matches to four and five games. When the team took down Middlebury 8-1, the top five women did not drop a single game. The Ephs then beat the Bobcats 7-2, losing just two matches in tight five-gamers and winning the rest in quick three-set games. The players finished that weekend with a 9-0 victory against Mount Holyoke, in which Julia Reiser ’10 and Barnet triple-bageled their opponents 9-0, 9-0, 9-0.
“I think we’ve been putting ourselves in a good position for some of our contestant matches that we have coming up,” said Assistant Coach Blair Dils, “but we are still looking for that match when all nine players play really well, and that will hopefully happen against Dartmouth or Cornell.”
Head Coach Zafi Levy is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming month. “We have a very difficult five weeks ahead of us,” Levy said, “but I’m sure that now with our full lineup, we will accomplish our goal of entering the A Division.”
The team plays Dartmouth today, and faces Hamilton and Cornell on Sunday.