Saturday, the women’s squash team (8-1, 4-0 Ivy) effortlessly beat Brown (8-5, 2-4) to continue their unbeaten streak in the Ivy League. In what was their first 9-0 win of the Ivy season, the Bulldogs set up a championship bout with Harvard for next Wednesday.
The lineup of No. 1 Frances Ho ’05, No. 2 Devon Dalzell ’04, No. 3 Lauren Doline ’05, No. 4 Gina Wilkinson ’03, No. 5 Sarah Coleman ’05, No. 6 Kate Sands ’02, No. 7 Abigail McDonough ’04, No. 8 Ruth Kelley ’05, and No. 9 Lindsay Schroll ’05 utterly dominated the Bears, with only No. 2 Dalzell losing a game all afternoon.
Captain Miriam Fishman ’02 said she expected the outcome.
“Brown was missing their top two players due to injuries, so they were actually a weaker team than the line-up we faced and beat in an early scrimmage 7-2,” she said. “This was definitely the result we’d anticipated.”
While he was pleased with team’s performance, Yale head coach Mark Talbott also thought that Brown’s injuries played a role in the match.
“Our girls played great,” he said. “We beat Brown easily although they were missing their No. 1 and No. 2. Without their injuries it could have been a decent match, it definitely would have been much closer.”
Looking forward, this weekend will provide a chance for tougher competition at the Howe Cup, with potential matches against both Trinity and Harvard, although the third-seeded Bulldogs will probably start with a rematch against Brown.
Coming off big wins over Brown and Princeton, the team is confident of their chances this weekend.
“The solid win over Brown gave us confidence going into the Howe Cup,” Schroll said. “We have been working hard all season and are hoping to pull off an upset this weekend.”
Last year, the Bulldogs finished a disappointing seventh at the Howe Cup. But Fishman said a top-two finish is certainly possible this weekend.
“As long as we continue to practice hard this week and nobody gets hurt I think we definitely have a chance at the championships,” said Fishman. “Trinity is missing a player and we’ve improved so it could be a different result this time around. Additionally, Harvard lost to Trinity so that promises to be an exciting match as well.”
The Bantams and the Crimson are seeded ahead of the Bulldogs in the tournament. Earlier this season, Yale fell to Trinity, 7-2.
“I expect no less from our team at the Howe Cup than our high No. 3 seed,” added Wilkinson. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if we improved on that.”
Talbott shared his players’ confidence in their odds this weekend, while acknowledging it would not be easy.
“It is a tall order for us but I think we can pull an upset,” he said. “If we get some great performances lower down the ladder, then we can do it.”