Women’s squash (14-7) valiantly took on its conference rivals in the NESCAC Championships at home last Saturday and Sunday. The women started out strong, sweeping past Bowdoin in the quarterfinals and beating Middlebury in the semifinals before ultimately losing to Trinity.
In the quarterfinal matchup, the Ephs defeated the Polar Bears 9-0. Highlights included wins from Nicole Friedman ’18 and Nicole Feshbach ’16. After an exciting and high-scoring first game, Friedman won her match 10-12, 11-4, 11-2, 11-4. Feshbach demonstrated her resilience when she rallied back after losing her first game to win 9-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-5. The team then faced Middlebury in the semi-finals and won 6-3. Friedman had another good match, winning in three games 11-9, 15-13, 11-6. Feshbach repeated her earlier success of the day and rallied after losing her first two games to defeat her opponent 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8. Co-captain Caroline Sawin ’15 pushed hard after losing her third game and eventually won 13-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8. On Sunday morning, the team fell to Trinity 9-0 in the finals to secure a second -place finish. All of the matches were finished in three sets, but Feshbach put up the strongest fight, pushing her first game to extra points, yet she eventually lost 12-10, 11-4, 11-3.
“We were very pleased with the outcome this weekend,” co-captain Ellie O’Neill ’15 said. “Beating Middlebury in the semifinals, we secured our ranking, 12th in the country, going into nationals. ”
Prior to their strong showing at the NESCAC Championships, the women traveled to Wesleyan on Feb. 1 to compete for the Little Three title against the Wesleyan and Amherst. For the 15th- consecutive year, the team defeated its Little Three rivals with a 7-2 win over Wesleyan and a 9-0 win over Amherst. In the contest against the Cardinals, the Ephs shone, winning seven of their nine matches in straight games. Alyssa Ritchie ’17 never allowed her opponent to score more than five points per set and won 11-5, 11-3, 11-4. O’Neill ’15 had a similarly impressive match, winning 11-4, 11-2, 11-5. The matches against Amherst were more grueling, but the team fought hard and came up with a victory.
Williams had a split weekend when it played Brown and Drexel on Jan. 30 and 31. The team first faced Brown and, despite competing in hard-fought matches, fell 7-2. O’Neill secured one of the two victories of the day, winning her match in five games. After losing the first game, O’Neill rallied and defeated her opponent 6-11, 11-2, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6. The other win against the Bears came from Hayley Parsons ’18 who, after losing the first game, proceed to take the match 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9. Undeterred, the women rallied the next day against Drexel in a close contest where half of the matches went to extra sets. The Ephs successfully defeated the Dragons 6-3.
The women next face off against Dartmouth today at 5:00 p.m.