This weekend’s squash action resulted in a bittersweet culmination of the women’s season.
The Bulldogs participated in the Howe Cup women’s tournament held at the Brady Squash Center, which is the end of the team’s season. Yale (8-5, 3-5 Ivy) entered the 26-team draw as the No. 6 seed, but finished in seventh place after a disappointing loss to Dartmouth (10-8, 2-6) Saturday.
The Bulldogs faced three opponents over the course of the weekend, falling to last season’s Ivy champions Pennsylvania (7-4, 5-3 ) 6-3 Friday night. On Saturday, Dartmouth defeated the Bulldogs 5-4, reversing Yale’s 5-4 decision over the Big Green one week earlier. But Sunday, the Elis rallied to defeat Brown (9-8, 1-7 Ivy) for the second time this season, clinching a 5-4 win.
“It was pretty amazing to have such close matches two days in a row,” Jennifer Field ’01 said. “Matches like that are what make working all season worthwhile. The whole weekend pulled us together because every match counts in situations like that.”
Saturday’s Dartmouth rematch indicated just how close the two teams are, with different players producing wins and rising to the challenge. Team captain Catherine Fiederowicz ’01 played one of the most notable matches of her career, defeating Dartmouth’s Sarah West in four games at the No.1 position.
“The loss to Dartmouth was especially frustrating since we lost to them the previous Wednesday,” Miriam Fishman ’02 said. “Sometimes it’s harder to go into a rematch having won such a close contest, because the loser is more psyched up for revenge, and their mental game is that much tougher.”
Sunday’s match was against a Brown team that altered its lineup to be more competitive against the Elis. After losing three games in the first round of matches, the pressure was on for the remaining six Bulldogs, who managed to reach a four-all tie. The match came down to a battle between Fiederowicz and Brown’s Avery Broadbent at the No. 1 position, with Fiederowicz outperforming her opponent in the fifth game.
“A lot of pressure was on Cat [Fiederowicz] in her last home match,” Thea Handelman ’01 said. “I think she competed harder in that match than I have ever seen in my four years with her.”
Fishman agreed with her teammate.
“Cat [Fiederowicz] really stepped up and outclassed Avery in the end in terms of physical ability and conduct on the court,” she said. “It was great for our captain to close out the tournament for us.”
Devon Dalzell ’04 also trounced her opponent in four games at the No. 2 position, while Handelman dominated play at No. 7, winning in three straight games.
“Devon went out from the beginning with a competitive edge that is unparalleled on our team,” Handelman said. “She really showed her determination and decisiveness on the court Sunday.”
On Wednesday the Bulldogs will travel to Cambridge to battle archrival Harvard for their final game of the season. With the Crimson’s second place finish in the Howe Cup, the Bulldogs are ready for a tough matchup.
“Although we didn’t finish as strongly as we’d hoped [in the Howe Cup], the team really put in the best effort of the year,” Gina Wilkinson ’03 said. “When we played Harvard last year, there were lots of close matches that went to five games. All the teams are so competitive in ability that you can never predict what could happen without any doubts.”
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