Four matches in three days in three different states seems like a challenging weekend, but for the women’s squash team, it was a breeze.
“Being on the road wasn’t that stressful,” Amy Gross ’06 said. “It was more fun. It was a good weekend.”
It is usually a good weekend when you sweep every opponent 9-0, as the Bulldogs did in the four matches. The undefeated Elis, led by Gross, defeated Williams in Massachusetts Friday before heading to New Hampshire, where they blanked Dartmouth on Saturday. Sunday found the Bulldogs at home against Bates and Bowdoin, two teams which could not find much success at all against the dominant Elis. The Big Green was the most competitive of the four teams, but they only won three out of 27 games. The three losses were the only games the Bulldogs lost out of the 108 they played this weekend.
Gross said the match versus Dartmouth was good preparation for the team.
“It was a good match to get us ready for the strong matches coming,” Gross said. “It was good to get focused. It’s really important to be up to par and a lot of freshmen got experience in the matches.”
Gross defeated Dartmouth’s Julia Drury 3-0 at the number one seed. Miranda Ranieri ’08, Lauren Doline ’05, Lauren McCrery ’07, Kate Rapisarda ’07 and Nicola Shiels ’07 also won 3-0 in their matches with the Big Green. Frances Ho ’05, Rachita Vora ’06, and Sarah Coleman ’05 gave up one game each.
The team played their top line at Dartmouth, but each Eli received one match during which they did not have to play, Gross said.
Gross said the weekend was helpful for the entire team because it allowed them to work on various technical issues in the setting of a match.
“It helped me a lot and helped everyone a lot,” Gross said. “We play matches against each other, but it is different in an actual dual match competition. We could afford to work on things.”
Nicola Shiels ’07, who played nine seed against the Big Green and won 3-0, said she was happy with the results of the weekend because many players played two seeds higher in some matches as Michelle Quibell ’06 and Catherine McLeod ’07 both sat out.
“We didn’t expect Dartmouth to be easy, especially since we were playing two higher,” Shiels said. “We should beat them but we did pretty well to beat them that well.”
Shiels also said it was good to win the way the team did this whole weekend considering the way they have been training lately.
“We’ve been training hard, especially fitness-wise,” Shiels said. “A lot of people have been complaining that their bodies are hurting, but we played well.”
The intense training caused Quibell, the reigning individual national champion, to sit out until Sunday because of a nagging hamstring injury. On Sunday at home she won her match against Bowdoin.
“I felt alright Sunday,” Quibell said. “I just worked it a little too hard last week, so I wanted to take a couple days off to get better again. Hopefully it doesn’t come back.”
The Elis will need Quibell back to full strength soon because of their upcoming opponents. This weekend the Bulldogs are splitting up, with one group playing Cornell and Hobart and the other group playing as individuals at the Constable Tournament in Princeton. The following week the Elis will have to face Trinity and the Tigers in quick succession. But Gross said everyone is ready for these games.
“Everyone is excited about the upcoming season,” she said. “Everyone is feeling good about themselves.”
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