The Bulldogs opened their season at the Brady Squash Center this weekend, facing teams from across the Ancient Eight at the Ivy Scrimmages.
Yale entered the tournament ranked No. 2 nationally, after falling to Harvard in last season’s National Championship. On Saturday, the Yale squash team topped Brown 9-0 and Princeton 5-4 to advance to the tournament finals, in which they lost 7–2 to No. 3 Penn the following day.
As the Ivy Scrimmages do not count on a team’s record, the tournament allowed the teams to experiment and change lineups. Top seed and defending Ivy and National Champion Harvard lost in the semifinals, but head coach Dave Talbott said the Crimson will be the team to beat when Yale plays their full lineup.
“[Yale], as well as Harvard, had a couple of injuries and are still two months away from putting out their final lineups,” Talbott said. “Penn and Princeton will possibly have a different look as well when the Ivy League season is played in January and February.”
Team captain Katie Ballaine ’13 said this weekend’s results showed that the team has the talent and mental toughness to win a national championship this season. Although they lost three seniors from last season’s top nine, the Elis still boasted a strong lineup for the weekend’s matchups. Playing at No. 1 was Millie Tomlinson ’14, who finished last season ranked No. 2 in collegiate squash after making it to the finals of the Ramsay division title. Shihui Mao ’15, who finished last season at No. 38, and Ballaine, who ranked No. 28, played second and third for the Elis.
Yale women’s squash is back in action this Friday at home against Franklin and Marshall College, a strong opponent with a preseason collegiate ranking of No. 14 in the nation. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.