Women’s squash beats Midd, falls to Columbia

Women’s squash (9-8), ranked No. 15 in the country, lost to No. 9 Columbia, 9-0, while on Saturday Williams won a tight 5-4 match against Middlebury. On Jan. 12, the women topped Bowdoin 8-1 and Conn. College 9-0 after having lost to Bates 5-4 the day before. On Jan. 7, Williams lost 9-0 to Harvard.

On Sunday, the women travelled to New York City to face Columbia. Despite a valiant effort, the team lost the match 9-0. Co-captains Alyssa Northrop ’14 and Ellie O’Neill ’15, as well as Ellen Coombe ’17, fought hard but eventually fell in five games. Northrop was defeated 3-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 3-11 and O’Neill lost 14-12, 4-11, 4-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8. Coombe had strong first and fourth games, but could not pull off a victory over a tough opponent, losing 11-2, 5-11, 1-11, 11-3, 3-11.

On Saturday, Williams had a close match against NESCAC rival Middlebury, featuring multiple matchups that went more than three games. The Ephs’ 5-4 win over the No. 17 Panthers guaranteed them third seed for the NESCAC Championships in the beginning of February. Alyssa Ritchie ’17 won her first two games, but eventually fell in five games to lose 11-7, 11-2, 6-11, 9-11, 6-11. In the end, the final two matches, played by Northrop and Caroline Sawin ’17, decided the overall winner. Northrop fought hard against a tough opponent, trading games before finishing off the match for a victory in five games, and putting the Ephs one game closer to winning the match. Her scores were 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 2-11, 11-6. The deciding match was played between Sawin and Saskia Pownall-Gray of Middlebury. After losing the second game, Sawin rallied to win 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, securing the victory for the Ephs.

On Jan. 12, the women beat No. 20 Bowdoin 8-1. Northrop had an exciting match in which she defeated Rachel Barnes 11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8. Sawin rebounded after a loss in her first game to win her match 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5. Williams rounded out the weekend with a 9-0 win over No. 26 Conn College. Each player defeated their opponents handily, with exceptional matches coming from Gibbs Cullen ’14 who only gave up two points in the entire match, winning 11-1, 11-0, 11-1 and Coombe who won her match 11-2, 11-2, 11-0. The day before, Williams suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to NESCAC rival Bates. This competition featured many tough matches between talented players. Lily Grant ’16 pulled off an exciting five-game victory, winning 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8. The Ephs’ third through sixth seeds carried the team, but it proved to not be enough to defeat Bates.

The team then faced another difficult opponent when playing Harvard on Jan. 7. The Ephs were defeated 9-0 by the No. 1 Crimson with the most notable match coming from Maria Pylypiv ’15, who lost to her opponent 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.

The Ephs had a winning weekend in their first matches back from Thanksgiving, playing three matches over Dec. 6-7. They won 17 of their 27 matches of the weekend, bouncing back after

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a 9-0 loss to Yale at home on December 6. In this contest, O’Neill had the strongest showing, but fell to her opponent 11-8, 11-4, 11-9. The women rallied the next day as they traveled to Middlebury to play Colby and St. Lawrence. Williams successfully defeated No. 24 Colby, with Northrop having an especially exciting match in which she came back to defeat her opponent in a four games after losing the first one, winning 10-12, 13-11, 11-7, 11-3. The team finished the weekend off strong with an 8-1 victory over No. 19 St. Lawrence. Sawin had an impressive five game match, defeating her opponent 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 7-11, 11-5.

Next, the women face George Washington on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Franklin and Marshall on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Yale Round Robin in New Haven, Conn.