Both the men’s and women’s squash teams dominated the University of Pennsylvania Dec. 7 at Yale’s Brady Squash Center.
Both teams, despite the absence of key players, saw strong contributions across the board. The women’s team won 7-2, losing matches at the No. 1 and No. 3 slots; the men’s team, lacking four of its top nine players, won 26 of 29 games in an 8-1 victory.
Despite losing two of three matches at the top of the ladder, the women’s team’s depth picked up the slack. Frances Ho ’05, one of the team’s strongest players, is out with an ankle injury.
Devon Dalzell ’04, Lauren Doline ’05 and Sarah Coleman ’05 all disposed of their opponents in three games.
“I knew that the one and two positions were toss-ups,” women’s head coach Mark Talbott said. “We just have more depth.”
Yale’s No. 1 player, Michelle Quibell ’06, lost three straight games after winning the first, falling to first-team All-American Runa Reta.
“It wasn’t the prettiest match for either of us,” Quibell said. “I lost focus, and I couldn’t get it going.”
But at No. 2, Amy Gross ’06 pulled out a victory against the Quakers’ Dafna Wegener, the Israeli junior champion, in a close five-game match.
Then in the No. 3 match, Rachita Vora ’06 lost to Linda McNair in five games. Vora had beaten McNair in three games at the November Ivy Scrimmage at Princeton.
After winning the first two games, Vora dropped the last three, 5-9, 7-9 and 2-9.
The mental fatigue of an intense academic week affected Vora’s play, Talbott said.
The men’s team had to contend with the absence of number one Julian Illingworth ’06, who is currently in India for the World Junior Men’s Championship.
Yet the Bulldogs lost only one match, and won all other matches in three games.
“Our team is the best team we’ve had in the past 10 years,” men’s head coach David Talbott said.
The only loss came at No. 1, where Anshul Manchanda — who played No. 1 for the last two years prior to Illingworth’s arrival — lost to first-team All-American Richard Repetto, 3-2.
The Elis will only get better with the return of Illingworth and Avner Geva ’06, who is currently out with a back injury and could play as high as the number two spot, Talbott said.
Illingworth recently defeated Egyptian junior champion Mustafa Essam, the third seed at the World Junior Men’s championships.
It was one of the greatest victories in the history of U.S. squash, Talbott said.