It is difficult to out-perform your ranking, especially when you are the No. 4 team in the country, but the Bulldogs did just that this weekend.
The women’s squash team returns from a successful weekend at Princeton with a third-place national finish behind Harvard and Trinity.
The Elis (16–3, 5–2 Ivy) competed against the country’s top eight for the College Squash Association’s Howe Cup. No. 4 Yale beat No. 5 Princeton 5–4 in the first round, but the women were defeated by No. 1 Harvard in the semifinals. The Bulldogs earned a victory over No. 3 Penn to finish the tournament in third. The No. 2 Trinity Bantams emerged as national champions, defeating Harvard in the final round.
“We took each match as it came and did not underestimate any team,” Millie Tomlinson ’14 said.
Tomlinson played at the first position for Yale over the weekend. She triumphed in two of the three matches, earning a 3–0 win over her Princeton opponent and a 3–1 win in the match against Penn, but she fell to her Crimson foe 3–0.
Captain Lilly Fast ’14 had Yale’s breakout performance against Princeton, coming back from a 2–0 deficit to secure the win at the seventh spot.
“Lilly was captain of the day, player of the day, and woman of the day,” Mao said about Fast’s comeback against the Tigers.
Shiyuan Mao ’17 also defeated her opponent in a tight, five-game set at the eighth spot. She was able to best her Princeton opponent in the championships after losing 3–2 to the same player in Yale’s last match against Princeton.
In the second round, the Bulldogs faced the hated Harvard — a team they had lost to 7–2 in their season’s final home match. Harvard won the match 6–3, but the Crimson had to overcome several impressive performances by Yale.
Issey Norman-Ross ’15 had a 3–1 victory in the fourth position, blanking her adversary in the fourth game to win 11–0. Georgia Blatchford ’16 swept 3–0 in the exhibition match at the tenth spot. Mao and Annie Ballaine ’16 also came through with sweeps in the eighth and ninth spots, respectively.
“To win this one, I just had to go in aggressive and take it point by point,” Ballaine said.
After their loss in the semifinal round, the Elis played the Quakers on Sunday in the consolation match to decide third place. The Quakers had prevailed 5–4 when the two squads faced off earlier this season.
Yale turned the tables on Penn this time, however, winning 5–4 in an intense match — seven of the nine matchups went to either four or five game sets. Tomlinson, Norman-Ross and Mao all saw wins this past weekend after losing to their Penn opponents at the previous meeting.
“It all came down to Issey [Norman-Ross] who went 2–0 down and managed to pull for a comeback and clinch the match,” Kim Hay ’14 said.
Hay, along with Fast and Gwen Tilghman ’14, will graduate this year.
Some players from the men’s and women’s squash teams will travel to Penn to compete in CSA Individual Championships this coming weekend.