W. SQUASH | Squash shuts out foes

The Yale women’s squash team tallied two more blowout victories this weekend as it moves forward into the final part of its season.

The No. 5 Bulldogs (8-2) hosted the Yale Round Robin tournament on Friday and Saturday, and crushed No. 18 Tufts (1-6) on Friday in a 9-0 blowout before powering past No. 14 Bates (5-6) with similar ease. Their third scheduled match, against league rival Columbia (1-3), was postponed when the Lions were unable to make the trip to the tournament, and with the Elis scheduled to play the Bobcats in the morning, they could not go to meet their foes in New York.

The match against the Jumbos may have been a surprise — it was a last-minute setup, Aly Kerr ’12 said — but the game itself held few surprises. The Bulldogs’ performance was solid and, according to captain Tara Wadhwa ’09, the Elis did not drop a single game in the shutout victory. But, she added, Tufts’ squash program is excellent and watching the Jumbos improve has been a great experience.

In the next day’s face-off with Bates, the Bulldogs took control of the match and never relinquished it. With Logan Greer ’11 in the No. 1 position, the Elis proceeded to dominate the Bobcats on every single court, dropping just a single game overall. Greer herself notched a 9-1, 9-3, 9-2 victory over her opponent, while Sarah Toomey ’11 came within a single point of a complete and total shutout over Bates junior Whitney Roller. Her 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 victory was echoed at position No. 3, where Rhetta Nadas ’12 breezed past her Bobcat opponent 9-1, 9-0, 9-1. No. 4 Caroline Reigeluth ’11 and No. 5 Alexandra Van Arkel ’12 also cruised to comfortable victories.

Wadhwa, who played at No. 6, took her first game 9-5, and from then on it just got easier. She flew to a 9-1 win in the second game, and in the third, her 9-3 victory gave her the match and the point for her team. No. 7 Kaitlin Vinci ’10 played her way to a solid 9-4, 9-1. 9-6 win, and at No. 9 Anna Doud ’11 took her match without difficulty, even shutting out her opponent in the second game. And at No. 8, Kelly Mulrow ’12 fought her way to two close victories, 9-7, 9-7, before her Bates opponent Stephanie Cabot battled back, taking the third game 9-2. But Mulrow was not about to give in, and she finished off her match with a resounding 9-1 win.

“The weekend matches were against easier schools than both Princeton and Trinity,” Wadhwa said. “However, as for all matches, we tried to be as prepared as possible and use the opportunity to practice the basics of the game which are so important in tougher matches like Princeton.”

The face-off against the Tigers is the match the Bulldogs have had their eyes on since Trinity, Alia Aziz ’10 said. Princeton is ranked at No. 1 in the College Squash Association poll — and for good reason. The Tigers are 6-0, and all six of those victories were 9-0 shutouts save one 7-2 win over No. 6 Cornell (6-4). As for the question of momentum, Princeton is riding high on four of those shutout wins, most recently over No. 8 Williams (8-6) and No. 12 Bowdoin (5-8).

The Tigers also have history on their side: This year, they are playing for their third straight national team title. But when the two teams met earlier this season during the Ivy Scrimmage in November, the Elis came remarkably close to unseating the CSA favorites, narrowly falling 5-4.

“We are continuing to work hard on court and on specific game strategies and tactics, and we hope to use this to our advantage this weekend against Princeton,” Wadhwa said. “We are excited to play the match at home and maximize our full potential.”

“I think it will be very close,” Kerr added. “And it will probably be one of our hardest this season. Hopefully, all the training we’ve put in has prepared us to do very well against them.”

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