The women’s squash team suffered a close loss on Thursday, snapping their six-game winning streak and leaving nearby rival Trinity still undefeated for the season.
The No. 5 Bulldogs (6-2) fell in a heartbreaking, 5-4, loss to the No. 3 Bantams (7-0) in Hartford. Yale emerged victorious the last time the teams met, which was in the third-place match of the Howe Cup. But this year, Trinity is better than ever: Before encountering the Elis, the Bantams had not dropped a single match, shutting out every one of their opponents 9-0.
“They’re a very, very tough team,” Alia Aziz ’10 said. “They’re mostly international and they always get a couple new players in the middle of the year, so we don’t know what to expect in their lineup.”
But, she added, “knowing that it would be a really tough match, we all really psyched ourselves up, and I think we did well despite the loss.”
Aziz, who played at No. 3, fought a long battle against Bantam junior Tehani Guruge, dropping the first game 5-9 before picking up the next two 9-6, 9-4. Guruge rallied to take the fourth game, but Aziz was not about to give in, and she picked up the final game and the match with a 9-7 win. No. 2 Sarah Toomey ’11 and No. 5 Alexandra Van Arkel ’12 also posted wins for the Elis — Toomey in just three games, Van Arkel in four.
Aly Kerr ’12 did not have such a smooth trip, though. After rolling her ankle early in the first game, she fell narrowly to sophomore Robyn Williams, fighting to solid scores of 10-8, 10-8 despite her injury before her third-game 9-0 loss gave the win to her opponent.
“It was a little frustrating,” she said. “I felt I definitely could have won that match and maybe made the difference in the final score.”
With the match standing 4-3 in favor of Trinity, No. 7 captain Tara Wadhwa ’09 proceeded to play one of the best matches of the season, according to Kerr. After taking an early lead with a 10-8 victory, her Trinity opponent, sophomore Emery Holton, came back to snag the next two, 4-9, 4-9. The match was far from over, though, as Wadhwa tied it up with a 9-3 win in the fourth game, before the fifth and final game’s score of 9-7 sealed her victory and knotted the overall tally at 4-4.
In the final faceoff, No. 1 Logan Greer ’11 found herself up against Trinity powerhouse Nour Bahgat, who did not yield a single point to her Dartmouth foe last weekend. Bahgat could not hold Greer to zero, but she did emerge victorious, 9-3, 9-5, 9-2, to give the Bantams the match.
“I’d say that there were a lot of really great matches,” Anna Doud ’11 said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t win the Trinity matchup overall, but we played very well, and next time around might go even better.”
Kerr agreed, stating simply, “Overall, everyone played unbelievably.”
This weekend the Elis face a rigorous four-game schedule at home before turning their sights to conference foe Princeton (6-0) the following weekend.
“This weekend we have some generally easier matches,” Aziz said. “So we really have the next week and a half to get ready for Princeton.”