Women’s squash tops St. Lawrence, falls at Midd.

Following a strong third-place finish at the NESCAC championships last week, women’s squash (12-11, 8-3 in the NESCAC) delivered another weekend of impressive play. The women brought home a 1-1 record against Middlebury and St. Lawrence. The Ephs fell 5-4 to a strong Panthers squad on Sunday after dropping the Saints 9-0 on Saturday.

On Sunday, the team traveled to Middlebury to take on the Panthers for the second time this season. The women sought to redeem a close 6-3 loss to Middlebury in the NESCAC semifinals at Trinity the previous week. The Ephs started strong with wins in the top three matches: Laura Henry ’13 and Allison Rubin ’13 took their matches in three games, while Courtney Bogle ’12 claimed victory in four games. Captain Kavitha Mannava ’12 also delivered a key victory. Playing in the sixth spot on the ladder, Mannava dismantled her Panther opponent in three games.

However, the Ephs fell short in their other matches, as Alyssa Northrop ’14, Hannah Kaemmer ’13, Eliana Saltzman ’12, Carolyn Kaemmer ’12 and Mia Fry ’13 all fell in close matches. Northrop and Carolyn Kaemmer took their opponents to four games but were ultimately unable to close out the Panthers. Saltzman fought hard in the final match, scoring nine points before Middlebury’s Amanda Chen closed out the match with an 11-9 win in the final game. Hannah Kaemmer forced her opponent to five games before accepting an 11-6 defeat in the final game. The Panthers entered the day ranked one spot above the 11th-ranked Ephs and managed to scrape a 5-4 victory in the competition.

“While the result was disappointing, the overall match score was closer, which we are all looking at as the step we needed to take to finally beat them this upcoming weekend at Nationals,” Henry said.

On Saturday, the women competed against St. Lawrence on their home courts in the Simon Squash Center. In preparation for the Middlebury match the following day, Head Coach Zafi Levy decided to rest his typical top three players. Bogle, Henry and Rubin sat out the match to reserve their strength for the Middlebury squad and give a few of their teammates the opportunity to compete against several of St. Lawrence’s top-seeded players.

“Resting our top players against St. Lawrence showed the depth of our team,” said Rubin. “The win gave the team a higher confidence level going into our match with Middlebury and Championships.”

Though each Eph was forced to play up three spots on the ladder, the women took to the courts determined to gain momentum for their upcoming rematch against the Panthers. Pushed up to the No. 1 spot, Northrop handily defeated her Saint opponent in just three games. Hannah Kaemmer, Mannava, Saltzman, Carolyn Kaemmer, Fry, Gibbs Cullen ’14, Hollis Miller ’13 and Katherine Belk ’13 followed suit and took their matches in three games each. The women finished the day without dropping a single game or losing more than eight points in a game. They claimed a 9-0 win over St. Lawrence in their final home match of the season.

“Matches like the one against St. Lawrence show the team that we are just as good as any of the other top-ranked teams in the country, and if we can channel this confidence into our squash, we’ll create great opportunities to win,” said Rubin.

Williams ended its regular season with the weekend’s matches. On Friday, the women will travel to Princeton to compete for a ‘B’ division title at the College Squash Association National Team Championships.

“Matches like the one against St. Lawrence show the team that we are just as good as any of the other top-ranked teams in the country, and if we can channel this confidence into our squash, we’ll create great opportunities to win,” said Rubin.

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