Women’s squash captures Kurtz Cup in consolation final at Nationals

Women’s squash (17-11, 6-0 in the NESCAC) competed in it final matches of the season last weekend in the National Championships hosted by Yale. The women won the consolation final, bringing home the Kurtz Cup for their performance. Harvard won the championship.

On Day One of the tournament on Friday, No. 10 Williams fell 5-4 in a tight match to No. 15 Bates. Hannah Kaemmer ’13 had one of the most exciting matches of the day, swapping games with her opponents before earning a decisive win in the fifth game. Alyssa Northrop ’14 and Nicole Feshbach ’16 beat their opponents in four games and Caroline Sawin ’15 pulled off a three-game win to close out the Williams victories for the day. Unfortunately, this early loss meant that the Ephs were no longer in the running to win the tournament, which had been one of their preseason goals.

Having fallen in Day One, the women entered the consolation round. They defeated No. 14 Franklin & Marshall 9-0 in the semifinals. The Ephs showed their dominance against the Diplomats, winning eight of their nine matches in three games. Co-captain Alli Rubin ’13 had an impressive match, only allowing her opponent to score a total of twelve points over the course of the three-game match. Gibbs Cullen ’14 also had a strong match, beating her opponent 11-2, 11-5, 11-2.

The win over Franklin & Marshall advanced Williams to the finals of the consolation round on Sunday. In the consolation final, the women conquered No. 13 George Washington 8-1. Ellie O’Neill ’15 fought hard in a long match against her opponent, finally winning in five games with an 11-3 win in the fifth game. Northrop had a similarly grueling contest, but pulled off a five-game victory. Mia Fry ’13, co-captain Laura Henry ’13 and Kaemmer ended on a high note, finishing their Williams squash careers with victories.

Although the two wins of the weekend were tarnished slightly by the Ephs’ early loss in the tournament, the season was a successful one and one that the team is proud of. “While our final ranking is not what we had hoped for, it doesn’t change the fact that everyone worked incredibly hard throughout the season and improved immensely,” Henry said.

In particular, the team had several banner wins this season. “We had season highlight victories over Columbia, Bates and Middlebury,” Henry said. “Both [Rubin] and I are incredibly proud of our teammates and are going to miss them terribly next year.”

The team will graduate six seniors this year: Katherine Belk ’13, Hollis Miller ’13, Fry, Kaemmer, Henry and Rubin.

Although the team contests are now officially finished, Rubin, Henry and O’Neill, and potentially others, will continue their seasons competing in the College Squash Associations Individual Championships at Trinity on March 1.

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