Women’s squash takes 2nd at NESCACs

Women’s squash started its postseason play with a bang last weekend, making it all the way to the finals in the NESCAC against host and defending national champion Trinity. Due to their success during the regular season, the Ephs were seeded second to the Bantams and received a bye. They began the tournament by sweeping Colby on Saturday morning and destroying Bates later that day during prime time. Williams went on to fall 9-0 to Trinity, however,to come in second in the tournament overall.

On Sunday afternoon, Williams found itself against Trinity in the finals for the fourth year in a row. Hoping to reverse their three-year losing streak against the Bantams, the Ephs played with a lot of heart against the defending champions, but unfortunately were not able to take a single match from their top-ranked foe.

Nevertheless, there were not strong performances from the Ephs. Tri-captain Caroline Henry ’10 took part in the longest set of the day, a 16-14 marathon, but ended up losing the match in straight sets. Laura Henry ’13 also lost against her Bantam opponent in straight sets, but all three sets were hard fought. The last two sets were each decided by the minimum two points.

Courtney Bogle ’12, the third seed, had the unenviable task of facing the reigning national player of the year from Trinity, Nour Bahgat. Bahgat, although injured, played competitively, and Bogle simply could not defeat her.

Although the women’s victory over third-seed Bates on Saturday was never in doubt, there were a few tight contests in the match. Julia Reiser ’10 and Carolyn Kaemmer ’12 both came back to win their matches in four sets after dropping their first sets against their opponents. Newcomer Allison Rubin ’13 showed no mercy to her Bobcat opponent, giving up only 12 points overall and only dropping one point in the decisive third set.

Tri-captain Toby Eyre ’10 fixed one of the few blemishes of her amazing senior season against Bates first-year Cherri-Ann Parris. In January when the Ephs traveled to Maine, Eyre had lost the first two sets to the first-year phenom, but this time, Eyre rose to the challenge and beat Parris in straight sets.

“Our seniors played very well this weekend,” head coach Zafi Levy said. “They led the team [with] strong performances.”

Saturday afternoon, Williams came on strong against seventh-seeded Colby, which had defeated Tufts Friday night. The Ephs defeated the Mules 9-0, mirroring January’s competition between the teams. Rubin was especially impressive: She only dropped five points in her match. The rest of the team dominated as well, only dropping two sets across nine matches.

After the strong performances of the past few weeks, the women are already looking forward to ‘A’ nationals at Yale in three weeks, where they will face off against each school ranked eighth or higher in the nation. “Our women’s team is…the only small school playing at the ‘A’ draw at nationals,” Levy said. “We hope to arrive at nationals in top form and push our opponents hard.” Levy still expects hard work and effort from his team, regardless of their recent wins: “The women are playing well, but can still [continue to] improve.”

Next weekend, the Ephs will travel southwards to the mid-Atlantic to play three teams. They will compete at Franklin and Marshall starting on Saturday at 4 p.m., before facing both Princeton and George Washington on Sunday.

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