After playing their last eight games at home, the women’s squash team had to travel quite a bit farther than Payne Whitney Gymnasium to compete on Wednesday.
In a encounter originally slated for last week, but postponed due to inclement weather, Yale faced off against the Crimson at the Murr Center in Boston, Mass. The Bulldogs were overcome by their long-time rivals, 6-3, in their last dual match of the regular season.
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“In all honesty, it was really hard to get pumped up,” Alia Aziz ’10 said. “It was hard to have the match delayed a week and make the long drive [to Harvard]. But I think we tried really hard and played well by supporting each other throughout.”
The Elis came into the match having finished in fourth place in this past weekend’s Howe Cup. The team had played three matches over the weekend for the competition, held at the Brady Squash Center this year, where they beat perennial rival Trinity before falling to Ivy opponents Penn and Princeton. Players said they were exhausted after the last few weeks of continuous play, but still managed to enjoy Wednesday’s match play.
“It’s been a hard last six, seven weeks,” Sarah Barenbaum ’08 said. “The past couple weeks have been very long. But it is worth it in the end, and we have absolutely no regrets. There is nothing that we would have done differently.”
The match was played in a five-court system rather than a three-court system. As a result, the Elis did not know what was happening on the other courts while playing, and the match finished more quickly than usual.
The three Bulldogs who secured victories were Miranda Ranieri ’08, Nicola Shiels ’07 and captain Kate Rapisarda ’07. Players said all the Cantabs played well, but each match was close. After a previously undefeated season that garnered her the Player of the Year Award at the Howe Cup Banquet, Yale’s No. 1 player, Catherine McLeod ’07, was defeated in four games by Harvard’s Kyla Grigg, 9-3, 9-1, 1-9, 10-8.
“[Harvard] has a strong No. 1 player and a good team,” Tara Wadhwa ’09 said. “We should give them all the credit they deserve. But we have no regrets. All of us played as hard as we could.”
For Harvard as well, the last two weeks have been filled with intense competition. The Crimson had displayed their strength by securing victories over Dartmouth and Penn last weekend, but lost to eventual winner Princeton in the final to finish in second place.
Even though this was the last of the dual matches for the Elis, some team members will be competing in the CSA Individuals in Philadelphia, PA from March 2-4.