The women’s squash team has high expectations to live up to this winter, and this weekend the team was able to size up its Ivy League opposition.
The Bulldogs traveled to Princeton for the Ivy Scrimmage exhibition where they proved that a national championship is well within their reach.
The team defeated Pennsylvania in the first round with ease, beating the Quakers, 6-3.
Next, the women faced Princeton in the semifinals, ultimately taking the round, 7-2. In the final round, Yale met a well-rested Harvard and lost, 5-4. Harvard drew a bye in the first round of play.
Despite their loss to the Cantabs, the Bulldogs remain confident.
“Although we lost, it was a very optimistic outcome, because we basically had four of our top nine players out with injuries,” captain Gina Wilkinson ’03 said. “When we play Harvard at the end of the season, we’ll hopefully have our full line-up which will place more pressure on Harvard.”
Much of the anticipation follows the arrival of Michelle Quibell ’06, arguably the best female American-born squash player, who will play the number-one spot for Yale.
In addition, Rachita Vora ’06 and Amy Gross ’06 will likely contribute to the Bulldogs’ title quest.
But no freshmen competed in the individual tournament on Sunday; only four Yalies were healthy enough to compete. Wilkinson, Lindsay Schroll ’05, Abigail McDonough ’04 and Ruth Kelley ’05 all made the final round in their respective divisions.
“The individuals on Sunday were also a good chance for us to gauge our rankings,” Wilkinson said.
Yale has perhaps the league’s deepest squad; the talented freshmen class supports several experienced upperclassmen, including Devon Dalzell ’04, Lauren Doline ’05 and All-American Frances Ho ’05, who played number one for the Bulldogs last season.
Though currently hindered by pulled groins, sprained ankles and shin splints, the Bulldogs have a very clear goal.
“All and all it was a fun and successful weekend for us,” Kelley said. “After checking out the Ivy competition for this year, we are confident that we can win the Ivy Championship.”
The Bulldogs will begin their Ivy League season officially on Dec. 7, when the team hosts the University of Pennsylvania.