Women’s squash earns silver at NESCACs

February 10, 2016 by Jocelyn Wexler, Contributing Writer

Women’s squash (13-9, 9-2 in the NESCAC) fell to Trinity (10-3) in the NESCAC Championship final on Sunday. Although the Ephs fought a tough match, the Bantams, who are ranked No. 6 nationally, emerged victorious with a 9-0 win. At No. 1 for the Ephs, Nicole Friedman ’18 lost 3-0, as did Hayley Parsons ’18 at No. 2 and co-captain Nicole Feshbach ’16 at No. 3. In No. 4, No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, Ananya Mahalingam-Dhingra ’18, Esther Baek ’19, Ellen Coombe ’17 and Charlotte Walsh ’17 also lost 3-0 to tough Trinity opponents. Co-captain Lily Grant ’16 had the closest match of the day, splitting the first four games with her opponent. In the deciding fifth game, Grant fell 11-6 to her Trinity challenger. At No. 9, Caroline Hogan ’18 also lost, as did Alyssa Ritchie ’17 in the exhibition match.

“It was really rewarding to beat two of our biggest rivals, Bates and Middlebury, even more handily than we did when we played them during the regular season,” Grant said. “In the finals, we played Trinity and were happy to have some close matches against the No. 5 team in the country.”

Despite losing to Trinity 9-0, the women had a strong showing over the weekend. The Ephs handily defeated both the Bates Bobcats and Middlebury Panthers on Saturday. The Ephs faced the Bobcats in their first round, trouncing them 8-1. At No. 1 for the Ephs, Friedman faced a tough Bobcat opponent and lost 3-0. However, the Ephs swept all other positions. At No. 2, Parsons easily won with a final match score of 3-0. Feshbach, at No. 3, downed her opponent 3-1. At No. 4, Mahalingam-Dhingra also won 3-1. Baek, in the No. 5 slot, fought ardently in a tough match. In the final game, Baek won 11-4, sealing the victory. Coombe’s match also went five games, the Eph ultimately winning 3-2. At No. 7, Walsh won her match 3-1 and, at No. 8, Grant won handily with a final score of 3-0. Hogan, in the No. 9 position, played against a challenging Bobcat opponent but in the end won her match 3-2. In the No. 10 slot, Ritchie dominated, conceding no games.

The Ephs then faced off against the Panthers, a team they had defeated earlier in the season 7-2. On Saturday, the Ephs found the same good fortune and dominated the match to win 8-1. At No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, Friedman and Parsons both won handily with final scores of 3-0. At No. 3, Feshbach fell to her Middlebury opponent, 3-0. In the No. 4 and No. 5 spots respectively, Mahalingam-Dhingra and Baek also faced tougher opponents. Mahalingam-Dhingra went down 1-2 but battled back to take the match 3-2. Baek and her opponent split the first four games, but Baek went on to win the final game and secure the match with a final score of 3-2. Coombe and Walsh both took down their opponents in three sets. Grant, at No. 8, dropped just one game on her way to winning the match 3-1. Hogan and Ritchie also handily won, leaving their opponents scoreless. This win brought Williams to the NESCAC Championship final against Trinity.

On Feb. 2, the women took on Brown, ultimately conceding the match 6-3. At No. 1, Friedman lost 3-0, but Parsons and Feshbach both secured wins in their positions with Feshbach’s match going to five sets. In the No. 4 position, Mahalingam-Dhingra won the first game of her match but lost the subsequent three games to concede the match 3-1. In No. 5 and No. 6, Baek and Coombe fought tough matches. Baek fell 3-0 and, though Coombe fought to five sets, she ultimately lost her match 3-2. Regrettably, Walsh and Grant both lost 3-0. In ninth, Hogan won in three games to give the Ephs their third match victory. Ritchie, in tenth, went down in five games, 2-3.

On Jan. 30, the Ephs lost 9-0 to the Yale Bulldogs. Grant took one game off her opponent before ultimately losing 3-1 while Baek fell in five well-played games. The same day, the women also faced Stanford, losing 7-2. Grant and Hogan were the two victors from the match.

On Jan. 31, Williams faced Wesleyan and Amherst in a Little Three match-up. For the 17th year in a row, the Ephs emerged victorious as Little Three Champions. The women first faced Wesleyan, defeating the Little Three Rival 8-1 and took down archrival Amherst, 8-1.

The results from the women’s match against Dartmouth came in too late to report. The women will compete in the 17-32 Nationals beginning on Feb. 19.

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