Ephs close out regular season with pair of wins

Women’s squash (13-12, 6-2 in the NESCAC) closed out its regular season at home on Saturday with a strong 8-1 win over No. 13 Mount Holyoke and a dominant 9-0 sweep of No. 28 St. Lawrence.

At No. 1, co-captain Courtney Bogle ’12 bested her Mount Holyoke opponent 3-2 and her St. Lawrence foe 3-1 on Saturday. Todd Brenner/ Executive Editor
At No. 1, co-captain Courtney Bogle ’12 bested her Mount Holyoke opponent 3-2 and her St. Lawrence foe 3-1 on Saturday. Todd Brenner/ Executive Editor

The women will enter the College Squash Association’s ‘B’ Division Team Championships ranked No. 12 in the country.

In their first match since a difficult NESCAC tournament on Feb. 4 and 5, which saw the women take fourth after dropping a consolation match to Middlebury, the team exhibited a renewed confidence against a strong Mount Holyoke squad. At No. 1, co-captain Courtney Bogle ’12 faced stiff competition from Mount Holyoke’s Randima Ranaweera. Bogle went down two games before powering back to take the last three 11-7, 11-7 and 11-8 for the win. Playing second on the ladder, Alli Rubin ’13 also played a five-game marathon after dropping her second and third games 12-10 and 11-8, respectively, despite a dominant 11-2 showing in the opening game. Rubin went on to take the fourth game 11-6 and the fifth 11-8 to record the win. At No. 4, Alyssa Northrop ’14 was also pushed deep into her match after dropping a close first game 12-10. Returning from the break, Northrop stormed back in the second, taking a narrow 11-9 victory followed by 11-4 victories in the third and fourth games, for the win. Laura Henry ’13 at No. 3 and Elly O’Neill ’15 at No. 5 both came away with quick three-game wins, demonstrating the strength of the Ephs’ top five.

The bottom three on the women’s ladder, Caroline Sawin ’15, Eliana Saltzman ’12 and co-captain Carolyn Kaemmer ’12, also showed the team’s depth: Each registered a three-game win. Hannah Kaemmer ’13 struggled at No. 6, dropping a marathon five-game match to Mount Holyoke’s Kathryn Brummer. Despite a narrow 14-12 win in the first, Hannah Kaemmer dropped her second and third games 16-14 and 11-7, respectively, dropping to 2-1. The Eph came back in the fourth game to level the score with a 12-10 victory, but Brummer proved too strong and claimed the fifth game 11-8. Despite the loss at No. 6, the women still won the match 8-1.

Facing St. Lawrence on Saturday, the women again demonstrated their strength and depth. No. 1 Bogle had the toughest match of the day against the Saints’ Brigitte Tousignant. Despite strong play from Tousignant, Bogle came out on top 11-6 and 11-2 in the first two games. In the third, Tousignant battled back to take a narrow 11-9 victory. Bogle’s endurance shone through as she rebounded in the fourth game, closing the door with an 11-3 win. The rest of the ladder  – Rubin, Henry, Northrop, O’Neill, Sawin, Saltzman, Carolyn Kaemmer and Mia Fry ’13 – all notched three-game victories.

“Our women took care of business yesterday,” Head Coach Zafi Levy ’01 said. “We have played well, but we can still improve.”

The women will travel to Harvard on Feb. 24 to compete at the Collegiate Squash Association ‘B’ Division Championships, which will also feature top competitors Columbia, Middlebury and Brown. The women beat Columbia 7-2 on Jan. 29. The team has battled Middlebury twice, defeating them 5-4 on Jan. 22 before losing 5-4 on Feb. 5. The women also fell to Brown 6-3 on Jan. 20.

“We have two more weeks to prepare for Nationals,” Levy said, “and we intend on pushing hard the next 10 days in order to improve our fitness and technical level.”