After an undefeated regular season, the women’s squash team will look to extemd its win streak to 17 consecutive wins and a national championship this weekend.
The No. 1 Elis (14–0, 6–0 Ivy) will begin its quest for the national CSA title at the Howe Cup against No. 8 Dartmouth (9–7, 1–5) on Friday. If they win, the Bulldogs will face either No. 4 Penn (7–3, 4–2) or No. 5 Princeton (9–4, 3–3) on Saturday. In the final, the Bulldogs could possibly have a rematch of last weekend’s thriller against No. 2 Harvard (9–1, 5–1).
“This weekend is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our improvement,” captain Logan Greer ‘11 said. “All season we have worked to win a national championship and we now have the chance to accomplish that goal.”
The match against Dartmouth should not be much of a challenge for Yale, who defeated the Big Green earlier in the season 6–3. However, Kimberley Hay ’14, who plays the No. 4 position, and Millie Tomlinson ’14, who has played at the No. 3 spot, did not play in that contest. Both players will be on the court this weekend.
Tomlinson went undefeated during the regular season and was only pushed to four games one this season against No. 3 Trinity. She will be No. 2 on the Elis’ ladder behind Greer for the national tournament.
“They have been solid all year, and all of them have been in pressure situations and responded well,” Caroline Reigeluth ‘11 said.
The Bulldogs would then play either Princeton or Penn in the second round. Though the match against Princeton was a straightforward 7–2 win, the contest against Penn did not come as easily. They barely edged the Quakers in the opening match of the season, winning 5–4.
Penn has swept Yale in each of the past four years, and this season was the first time Yale defeated the Quakers in regular season play.
The freshmen made a big difference in the match. Lillian Fast ‘14 pulled out a huge win at the No. 5 spot in five games that would have otherwise set back the Bulldogs’ entire season. The Bulldogs would have had to settle for a share of the Ivy League title at best.
“Beating those teams a second time will require immense focus and determination,” Greer said.
The matches this weekend will test the consistency of the Bulldog team, who will have to compete in three tough matches in three consecutive days. The Elis could face Harvard again in the finals after its narrow 1 point victory over the Crimson last week.
“We essentially have to be really consistent in every spot collectively over a three day period,” Reigeluth said. “As great as last weekend was, we can’t let down now. We have some challenging matches and everyone needs to contribute their piece.”
Reigeluth was the hero of last weekend’s match against Harvard. With the match scored tied at 4–4 a piece, she fought her way to a five game victory, ensuring her team both the Ivy title and the No. 1 ranking.
The team is looking to build off of last week’s success and does not want to lose focus of the task at hand. Greer stressed the importance of taking it one match at a time and concentrating on each individual match.
“Being able to maintain the focus that we’ve had for the past six month,” Katie Ballaine ’13 said. “We’re coming off of an Ivy championship high, so we want to use this positive energy for a national title.”
Yale’s match against Dartmouth begins at 4:30 p.m. in Princeton, N.J.