It was another successful weekend for the Yale women’s squash team, as the Bulldogs (8–1, 2–1 Ivy) defeated all five teams they faced in the Yale Round Robin at the Brady Squash Center.
Yale began the weekend by sweeping Bates 9–0 on Friday night, giving the Bulldogs momentum going into Saturday’s matches against No. 5 Cornell (4–5, 0–4 Ivy) and No. 6 Stanford (5–5).
The fourth-ranked Elis defeated Cornell 7–2 before beating Stanford 6–3, giving Yale its most impressive wins of the season: The highest-ranked team the Bulldogs had defeated prior to Saturday’s matches was No. 8 ranked Williams.
“Saturday was a really big day for us because Stanford had a really big win against Princeton this year and Cornell is much stronger than last year,” captain Alia Aziz ’10 said. “We knew it was going to be a tough day, especially since Stanford didn’t have a tough morning match and we had just played Cornell. One of the biggest challenges was getting our legs ready for the Stanford match.”
Aziz, who played the No. 3 spot in both matches, was able to pull out a tough victory in the Cornell match against Shivangi Paranjpe, winning by scores of 11–7, 9–11, 11–8, 10–12, 11–8.
“It was an important win for me because [Paranjpe] has a really different style of play that is unconventional,” Aziz said. “She has very good hands and makes tricky shots up front, so it was really important for me to play a consistent game and not get freaked out by her good shots.”
The Bulldogs were dominant in their first four spots, as Logan Greer ’11, Sarah Toomey ’11, Aziz and Rhetta Nadas ’12 all won their matches against both Cornell and Stanford.
“The top of our lineup played really strong,” head coach David Talbott said. “I thought Cornell and Stanford were fairly equal teams talent-wise, with Cornell a little stronger up top than Stanford. Our top girls played particularly well, and they set the tone in both matches. The last girls to play against Stanford were Logan, Caroline [Reigeluth ’11] and Rhetta, and their great play propelled us from 3–3 to 6–3 as a team against Stanford.”
Other notable performances included freshmen Katie Ballaine ’13 and Katie Harrison ’13, who both won 3–0 against the Big Red. Harrison played the No. 8 position against a long-time friend, Clare Berner of Cornell.
“I played Clare all throughout high school, so it’s a bit of a rivalry,” Harrison said. “Beating Cornell and Stanford definitely keeps us motivated and keeps us going. They are great wins, and it shows that we have been training really hard.”
The Elis also had dominant victories over Mount Holyoke (6–4) and Northeastern’s club team (2–7) by scores of 9–0 and 7–0, respectively.
Yale will look to build off the success from the Yale Round Robin this coming Wednesday in its most challenging match so far this season, against No. 2 Trinity (7–0).
Aziz said the matches this past weekend helped the team to prepare mentally and physically for the Trinity match.
Wednesday’s match will begin at 7 p.m. at the Brady Squash Center.