No. 10 women’s squash stumbles against top-ranked competition

No. 10 women’s squash (2-5) faced a series of tough opponents in its first matches of the season. On Sunday, the women fell 9-0 to No. 4 Princeton. The women defeated Drexel 9-0 on Saturday morning, but suffered a 9-0 loss to No. 3 Trinity that afternoon. No. 5 Penn also proved to be tough competition, dropping Williams 9-0 on Friday. The women fell 8-1 to No. 7 Stanford and 9-0 to No. 6 Cornell on Nov. 17, but gave their season a strong start with a decisive 9-0 victory over No. 16 Hamilton on Nov. 16.

Princeton won all the games played on Sunday. Ellie O’Neill ’15 fought hard against her opponent, turning in the closest game of the day with a score of 11-9 in her first game despite falling 3-0 in the match. Co-captain Laura Henry ’13 also played well against a difficult team, scoring eight points in both her second and third games.

A day earlier, Trinity proved a similarly tough adversary and WIlliams fell by the same score. However, the women managed an impressive victory of their own, defeating Drexel 9-0 that morning. The Ephs beat the Dragons 3-0 in eight of the nine matches.

In their home opener on Friday, the women fell to Penn 9-0. Caroline Sawin ’15 turned out a tough match in the No. 5 spot, forcing her second game to 13-11. Co-captain Alli Rubin ’13 also put up a tough fight, taking her second and third games to 11-9.

Despite the losses, the team is happy with its performance last weekend. “We went into it knowing that we were facing three highly-ranked teams,” Rubin said. “Everyone rose to the occasion and played highly competitive squash.”

Henry added that “the ability of each and every team member to give 100 percent in all four matches is a testament to the hard work everyone has been putting into training.”

On Nov. 17, Williams went up against Cornell and Stanford, suffering 9-0 and 8-1 losses, respectively. The women all posted strong matches against Stanford with most of the games being won by a margin of less than five points. Sawin had another impressive showing, securing the only Eph victory against Stanford and pushing her match against Cornell to four games. Rookie Nicole Feshbach ’16 played hard against Cornell, pushing her second collegiate match to five games but ending the fifth game in a tough 15-13 loss.

In its first match of the season, Williams dominated NESCAC foe Hamilton in a 9-0 victory. The women won seven of their nine matches by scores of 3-0.

Rubin sees these matches as a good start for the Ephs and is looking forward to further opportunities for the team to prove themselves. “We could not be happier with how our team performed, and we look forward to continuing this high level of play throughout the rest of the season,” she said.

The women take on top-ranked Harvard on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass., in their final match-up before the winter holidays.