After what players said was a fruitful 11 days of training, the women’s squash team enters a week that has the potential to either make or break their season
Beginning Wednesday, the fourth-ranked Bulldogs will take on five ranked teams in as many days.
Since defeating the University of Pennsylvania handily Dec. 1, the Elis have not played a regular season match. While the men’s team improved its record to 5-0 over the break, the Yale women remain largely unproven, especially considering that the squad is composed primarily of freshmen.
On Wednesday, Yale will take on No. 2 Trinity in what promises to be an exceedingly difficult match.
In addition, after battling lesser foes, No. 9 Williams and No. 11 Bates colleges, Friday, the Bulldogs will have to face Ivy rivals No. 5 Cornell and No. 7 Dartmouth over the weekend. Captain Miriam Fishman ’02 said the latter pair of matches would be two of the most important and competitive this season.
Despite Trinity’s high rank and perennial success on both the men’s and women’s sides, players said that scrimmages over the break against the Bantams as well against No. 1 Harvard demonstrated that they had the ability to pull off the upset.
Although Fishman conceded that a win against Trinity would difficult to accomplish, she said that she would be entirely unsatisfied unless Yale defeated Trinity and won its other four contests.
“There is an outside chance that we can win the bottom 5 if [Trinity] comes in too cocky,” she said.
Despite the fact there was no official score kept in the scrimmages, players said that morale, which was already markedly high, improved as a result.
“[The scrimmages] were really good for us,” said Devon Dalzell ’04, who played in the No. 2 position in the Penn match. “They gave us the confidence that we can play with [top teams].”
Despite minor injuries that kept many Bulldog players, including Yale No. 1, Frances Ho ’05, sidelined during the break, Fishman said that the break was successful psychologically as well as physically, pointing to the increased enthusiasm that freshman players have brought to the team.
“We are peaking,” she said. “It was our best preseason since I have been on the team.”
Although Dalzell said that a loss to Trinity would not be a disappointment, she too said that the team believes it can win.
“It would be really exciting,” she said. “The whole attitude is different from last year. We are not going in looking to roll over; we are going to put up a fight.”