Women’s squash claim No. 10 spot

No. 10 women’s squash (15-9, 6-0 in the NESCAC) competed in the NESCAC Championships hosted at Trinity last weekend, ultimately claiming second in the tournament. The women’s second-place finish in the tournament came after a series of three straight regular season victories over Columbia, Amherst and Wesleyan. Prior to the women’s win streak, they dropped a close 5-4 match to Brown on Jan. 25. The women also went 3-0 at Yale in a tournament on Jan. 18-20.

The women entered the tournament as the second seed, eventually facing No. 5 Trinity in the final on Sunday. Although they suffered a 9-0 defeat, all of the women played aggressively, earning them second place in the tournament – an improvement from their fourth place finish last year. The previous day of the tournament, Williams beat Wesleyan 8-1 with co-captain Laura Henry ’13 coming back from behind to defeat her opponent in five games. This decisive win over Wesleyan set the team up for a spectacular effort against No. 11 Middlebury. The women propelled themselves into the finals of the tournament with a 6-3 victory highlighted by co-captain Alli Rubin ’13 winning in five games after a back-and-forth struggle against her opponent.

“The NESCAC tournament has been one of the highlights of our season so far,” Rubin said. “We finally made it to the finals after two years of losing in the semi-finals. The middle of our line-up has been so reliable this season, and [last] weekend was no different. Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 continue to dominate in every match. Also, Mia Fry ’13 played smart squash to beat her Middlebury opponent that she lost to only a couple weeks before.”

On Jan. 27, the women downed No. 12 Columbia 7-2 in their last home match of the season. The captains displayed their leadership through their tough play. After losing her first game, Henry rallied to win the next three games, defeating her opponent 15-13 in the third game and 11-6 in the fourth to clinch a victory in her final game at the Simon Squash Center. Rubin displayed similar perseverance when she came back from a loss in the second game after winning the first game 13-11. Rubin defeated her opponent in the third and fourth games and continued her six match winning streak.

On Jan. 26, Williams took its Little Three opponents by storm, hosting No. 18 Wesleyan and No. 16 Amherst. The Ephs emerged victorious, garnering their 14th consecutive Little Three title. The women beat both teams 9-0, with impressive efforts from all members of the team that allowed them to win 14 of the 18 matches that weekend in three games.

The team faced a difficult opponent when playing No. 9 Brown on Jan. 25, the Friday before the Little Three triumph. The competition between these two closely ranked teams produced several exciting matches between players of very similar skill-level. The most notable of these matches was that of Caroline Sawin ’15 who defeated her opponent in five high-scoring games. Henry  beat her opponent in three games, winning two games 11-3.

The weekend before, the women took home three more wins at the Yale Round Robin, played on Jan. 18-20. They won 25 of 27 matches on the weekend, starting things off with a 9-0 victory over No. 28 St. Lawrence. In this contest, both Ellie O’Neill ’15 and Nicole Feshbach ’16 concluded their matches with less than five total points scored against them. The women successfully defeated No. 13 George Washington 8-1, with Alyssa Northrop ’14 having an especially exciting match in which she came back to defeat her opponent in a fifth game after losing the first two. The team finished the weekend strong with an 8-1 victory over No. 14 Franklin & Marshall. Both O’Neill and Fry defeated their opponents in grueling five-game matches.

“We have one more chance to prove ourselves, and that’s at the national championship,” Rubin said. “We’re most likely going in seeded second, and if everything goes as planned, we will have the chance to play Brown in the final round. The next two weeks of training will be tough, but I have no doubt that our team will perform to our fullest potential and bring home the Kurtz Cup.”

The women will travel to Dartmouth this evening for their last match before Nationals. Play begins at 7 p.m. The women will next compete in individual championships, which start this Saturday at Bowdoin.