The Yale women’s squash team finished strong in its three scrimmages Sunday, giving the Elis high hopes for the upcoming season.
Yale defeated the University of Pennsylvania 9-0, Princeton 8-1 and the All-Star Team — comprised of players from all three schools — 9-0.
Bulldog player Sarah Coleman ’05 praised the team’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand.
“I think everyone pulled together and kept their focus,” Coleman said. “Focus was key.”
While players felt that the matches were a good forecast for the season, some were uneasy about the fact that Princeton was missing several players Sunday due to injuries.
“It’s going to be a lot harder during the regular season when they’re all healthy,” Michelle Quibell ’06 said, referring to the injured Tigers. “They’re really deep. It’s not going to be easy and I think this weekend was a wake-up call for us. But if we continue to work hard like we have been working, we should be able to pull [another successful season] off.”
Last year, the Yale team was undefeated, winning the National Championship, the Ivy Title, and the Howe Cup. On the individual level last season, Quibell finished as the #1 player in the nation. The Bulldogs have not lost any of their top nine players from last year, and with the addition of new freshmen, team members feel confident about the approaching season.
“We all know that it’s hard to defend a title the second time around,” Amy Gross ’06 said. “We’re going in with the attitude that we’re the team to beat. We’re all really focused and trying really hard.”
Gross said that the team is especially excited about the addition of Miranda Ranieri ’08, one of the top-ranked junior players in Canada.
“[Miranda is] coming back from some difficult ankle injuries but she’s a great competitor and she’s tenacious,” Gross said. “We’re looking forward to see what she brings to the team this year.”
While the team feels prepared for the season, Gross said that they still have areas to work on.
“We’re looking forward to improving on small things,” she said. “We all need to get a little fitter but we’re taking steps in the right direction. We don’t want to peak too soon or burn out.”
Gross added that one of the reasons the team has improved is due to more training sessions with the men’s team. When new coach Dave Talbott took over both the men’s and women’s teams this year, he combined much of their training.
“[Talbott] has integrated the teams,” Gross said. “I think that has really helped a lot of the girls. We feel lucky that we get to play with them because they’re also a really great team.”