Only two days after their headline-making victory over the Trinity Bantams, members of the women’s squash team were back in action, but this time they were vying for individual laurels at the Constable Invitational and Princeton Champ tournament.
The entire Eli squad made its presence felt with dominating performances in all four ladders of competition.
Michelle Quibell ’06 entered the invite as the second seed, behind Bantam Amina Helal. The Eli sophomore had bested Helal two days before, securing a Bulldog victory. Quibell and Helal met again in the finals of the Constable, the highest ladder of competition comprised of the top 16 players in collegiate squash. Quibell trumped Helal again and claimed the individual championship. The Bulldog dropped the first game, just as she did at the Brady Squash Center last Wednesday, but similarly bounced back to take three straight for the victory by a 5-9, 9-7, 9-1, 9-5 score.
“I made my win legitimate,” Quibell said. “I’m playing really well right now. I’m happy because it shows that now I’m playing well consistently.”
Catherine McLeod ’07 also repeated her victory from last Wednesday in a rematch against her Trinity opponent. McLeod took third in the Constable bracket with a five-game victory over the tournament’s fourth seed, Bantam Vaidehi Reddy.
McLeod said the number and intensity of matches this semester have resulted in a marked improvement in her play.
“Last semester I got a bit frustrated because I felt like I wasn’t improving that much,” McLeod said. “We didn’t play any matches. It [has been] nice to play some matches.”
Frances Ho ’05 also competed well in the Constable before falling in the consolation semi-finals.
The Elis left their marks on the lower brackets as well with strong showings from Kate Rapisarda ’07 and Lauren McCrery ’07 in the Princeton Champ 5.5. McCrery, who suffered a four-game defeat against Trinity, took first place in the 5.5.
“When I played Trinity I was pretty nervous and I played really tentatively,” McCrery said. “I’m just going to work on my game — now I know what I need to do.”
Solid Bulldog showings could also be found in the 4.5 ladder, where captain Devon Dalzell ’04 made it to the finals before falling in a five-game marathon.
Yale head coach Mark Talbott said he felt the individual tournament was good for the team after the emotional drain of the Trinity match.
“I think it was good for everybody’s confidence,” Talbott said. “It took [the team] a day to get back into it because they were on such a high after Trinity. It threw everybody right back into the fire.”
Quibell said she was impressed by the play of the Eli freshmen at the tournament, as she has been all season long. She said many of the matches were not pretty, but that the freshmen played hard and therefore have even more reason to be confident.
“It’s matches like those you can be even more proud of winning, because it’s when you’re not playing your best and you still pull through,” Quibell said. “I think that just sums up how tough our freshmen are.”