This past Saturday, the women’s squash team traveled to New Jersey to battle Princeton (4-1, 3-1 Ivy) on its squash homecoming weekend in what would be the Elis’ toughest contest so far this season.
The Bulldogs defeated Princeton 7-2 for their first win over the Tigers in 10 years. Yale (6-1, 4-0 Ivy) remained undefeated and in position to challenge Harvard for the Ivy League championship.
Team captain Miriam Fishman ’02 eagerly anticipated the match.
“Throughout the past few months we’ve known that Princeton would be our biggest match of the season,” she said. “[They were] the team to beat so we could challenge Harvard for the League title.”
In a crowded Jadwin Gym the Tigers got off to a fast start, winning the first two matches over Sarah Coleman ’05 at No. 4 and Katharine Sands ’02 at No. 6. Abigail McDonough ’04 then started to turn things around for Yale with a 3-1 win at No. 8.
The turning point in the match, according to coach Mark Talbott, came at the end of the first round when No. 2 Devon Dalzell ’04 tied the team score at two games apiece with her 3-2 victory over Patricia Gadsden, to whom Dalzell lost in an earlier scrimmage.
Princeton did not win a game the rest of the day. Both Lauren Doline ’05 and Gina Wilkinson ’03 defeated their opponents 3-1 at the third and fifth positions, respectively. The most notable performance came from No. 1 Frances Ho ’05 who skunked Annie Rein-Weston 3-0.
That was not to say that it was not a hard-fought match. In her first match back from being out with a stress fracture, Ruth Kelly ’05 overcame Jen Shingleton at No. 9, 3-2. Lindsay Schroll ’05 clinched the win for Yale with another 3-2 win at the seventh position.
Princeton coach Gail Ramsay complimented Yale on its victory.
“They were very solid, strong at the top all the way through the back,” Ramsay said. “It could have gone either way. They were fired up though.”
“Everybody was evenly matched,” she said. “It really came down to who was the better competitor in the end.”
Talbott thought Princeton played hard but felt Yale was dominant.
“We were clearly better than Princeton,” he said. “We would have beaten them on any courts. In the first four years I have been here Princeton has beaten us soundly. It is a good feeling to turn it around.”
Fishman also expressed her happiness and confidence for the rest of the season.
“This year has been an amazing turnaround for us, we beat Penn and Princeton — teams we have not beaten since I have been here — as well as Cornell and Dartmouth,” she said. “It has been a dream season so far, as far as results and team morale go. And it is definitely not over yet.”
In looking to the future Talbott does not rule out an upset against Harvard.
“We should give [Harvard] a run, but it will be tough,” he said. “The team is starting to believe that they can beat the best.”