The Yale women’s squash team (1–0) opened its regular season with a dominant performance against Williams College on Nov. 20, defeating the Ephs (2–1) 8–1 at the Brady Squash Center.
“We didn’t think Williams would be that easy because of the new scoring system, but the match helped us stay on our toes,” captain Alia Aziz ’10 said. “It was nice to go home for Thanksgiving on a good note. Everyone played well.”
Eight of Yale’s nine players earned 3–0 victories over their opponents, as they swept all the positions except for the No. 1 spot.
Williams’ top player, Toby Eyre, managed to defeat Logan Greer ’11 in all three games. The first two games were close, with scores of 9–11 and 10–12. But by the third game, the day ultimately belonged to Eyre, who won 11–2.
There is a bit of a rivalry between the two players, who split the two matches they played against each other last year. One of those matches was during the College Squash Association Individual Championships, in which Eyre defeated Greer. When the regular season came to an end last year, Eyre and Greer were nationally ranked third and fourth, respectively, based on all dual match and team tournament play from the season.
“Toby is a good player,” Yale head coach David Talbott said. “Logan was disappointed with the outcome. Given how she has been training, we felt that she should have won that match, and so did she. [Nonetheless,] it was a good chance to evaluate what she needs to work on.”
Although Talbot had expected the Elis to come away with a win, he said the first match gave the Bulldogs a good chance to gauge where they are as a team. One of the highlights of the day included performances by Rhetta Nadas ’12 and Caroline Reigeluth ’11, each of whom lost only six points in their three games.
The opening match against Williams also provided Yale newcomers with a victorious start to their college careers. Freshmen Katie Ballaine ’13 and Katie Harrison ’13 managed to capture victories during their first collegiate matches. Aziz was more than pleased with their debuts, as the freshmen continue to make the transition from high school squash, also known as junior squash, to the college level.
“College squash is different from junior squash,” Aziz said. “People are fitter, and you expect points to go longer. But the freshmen have been training really hard this season, and they have improved a lot over the past few months. It has been fun to watch them.”
Ballaine, who played in the No. 6 spot for the Williams match, said she has adapted to the higher level of competition with the help of her teammates.
“[Collegiate squash] has been great,” Ballaine said. “In junior squash, it is very focused on the individual, and there is a lot of pressure on yourself. At Yale, there is a lot of support from the team, so it makes the matches fun and rewarding.”
The Elis this week face both Penn and Franklin & Marshall on Dec. 5 in a doubleheader. Penn is the first Ivy League team on the Bulldogs’ regular season schedule. The Quakers finished last season fourth in the country, and Yale ended up one spot behind in fifth. The match will be played at 11 a.m., followed by a meeting against Franklin & Marshall at 5 p.m.