W. squash dominates over break

After a frenzied two weeks filled with intense practices and five matches throughout the Northeast, the start of the spring semester brings with it a much-welcomed normal schedule for the women’s squash team.

The Elis started shopping period with an impressive performance over break behind them, having won all five of the matches they played. The team had an exhausting schedule, practicing twice a day since Jan. 2 and competing five times in two weeks.

“Playing twice a day at Yale for the past two weeks will hopefully help in the weeks to come,” Jessica Balderston ’09 said. “But playing that much started to get really tiring, and the team started getting fatigued.”

Since classes have started, the Bulldogs are down to one practice a day.

“We’re trying to refuel right now.” Balderston said. “Hopefully all that work we put in during break will come back. I think that all the matches that we played will be a good warm-up.”

The team’s first encounter in the new year was on Jan. 6 in Brunswick, Maine, where they played and overcame Bates, Bowdoin and Colby all in the same day, with scores of 8-1, 9-0 and 9-0 respectively.

“Playing three matches in one day in Maine was not easy, but it was a great experience and great challenge for our team to do it,” Balderston said. “I think that playing a lot over the past two weeks and having a bunch of matches has gotten us geared up for the main part of our season which is coming up.”

The Bulldogs next traveled to Williamstown, Mass. on Jan. 12, where they overpowered Williams College, 8-1, in a match where five of the eight winners triumphed in straight games.

Tara Wadhwa ’09, who did not play in Maine, joined the team in Williamstown to beat Williams’ Claire Hsu, 3-0.

“It was a very decisive win against Williams,” she said. “Williams was not very strong. It was good to get on court and have a good warm-up match.”

The only Ancient Eight foe that the Elis faced during break was Dartmouth on Jan. 13. In the last of their contests before returning to New Haven for the start of the semester, they defeated the Big Green, 6-3. With the victory, the team evened their Ivy record at 1-1.

Despite the absence of Catherine McLeod ’07 and Nicola Shiels ’07 from the lineup, the Bulldogs put forward an impressive performance with the top four players in the lineup delivering victories.

“We could have played better, but we knew that these wouldn’t be our hardest matches.” Balderston said. “We were missing one or two people when we were playing Dartmouth, and we didn’t think it was as hard of a match as it was. We definitely could have played better.”

The matches were good experience and practice for the team, team members said.

“I think everyone played really well. The team really took advantage of the time we had in New Haven to get warmed up and ready for the season,” Elisabeth Hill ’08 said. “Playing five matches over the past two weeks was a good way to come back from break. Our hard work over the past weeks will be really beneficial against Cornell and Trinity.”

The Bulldogs face Cornell on Jan. 20 in Ithaca, N.Y.

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