The women’s squash team just wanted to have a little fun — something that comes easily when you are the undefeated national and Ivy champions.
The Bulldogs (11-0, 5-0 Ivy), who repeated as Ivy and national champions this year, enjoyed themselves as they easily routed Amherst by a score of 9-0 Monday. Even though they rested various players to allow others to get a chance to play against the Jeffs, the Elis did not drop a single game during the match. Led by captain Frances Ho ’05 and Lauren Doline ’05, the Bulldogs also showcased their talented underclassmen with seven freshmen and sophomores competing.
Catherine McLeod ’07 said the match was fairly easy for the Elis.
“We knew they weren’t very strong competition,” McLeod said. “It was a lot of fun and really laid back.”
Playing up from her usual three-seed at the top seed, McLeod bested her opponent Ashley Harmeling 9-4, 9-3, 9-7. Although she said she made the match harder on herself by not playing as well as she could have, McLeod said playing at one-seed went well.
At two-seed, Ho likewise breezed through her match versus the Jeffs’ Caroline Shannon, winning 9-1, 9-0, 9-4. She said the team wanted to get the match over as quickly as possible.
“Everyone played well,” Ho said. “We kind of just gave a lot of the players on the lower end of the ladder a chance to have a match so we mixed it up.”
At three-seed, Doline gave up only two points in her sweep of Libby Martin. Lauren McCrery ’07 defeated Emily O’Brien 9-3, 9-1, 9-5 at the fourth spot. Kate Rapisarda ’07 had little trouble with Ali Gibbs as she won 9-2, 9-3, 9-2 at five-seed. In the No. 6 match, Abby Mantica could not stop Nicola Shiels ’07 from grabbing a 9-2, 9-0, 9-1 victory. Sarah Barenbaum ’08 was unstoppable at seven-seed as she did not concede a single point to Emily Zandy, and Elisabeth Hill ’08 emerged almost unscathed from her three straight 9-1 wins over Sarah Harper. Katie Mandel ’07 rounded it out for the Bulldogs by beating Scotty Hanley 9-1, 9-3, 9-5 in her first match of the season.
“I’m just glad I got to get the chance to get in a match before the end of the season,” she said. “It is such a talented team and we are all really bonded.”
With the win over the Jeffs, the Elis finished their season undefeated in dual matches. Ho said she was pleased with the way the regular stretch of dual-play ended especially because the Bulldogs repeated as national champions.
“It’s a great way not just to close out my Yale career but also my squash career,” Ho said. “I think they are still going to be very strong next year. We still have a very strong top four, and I think they could do it again next year.”
But despite the fun the Elis had winning easily on Monday, they have one goal as a team remaining — to win the Howe Cup.
“We have worked hard for what we have done, but to make it legitimate we have to win the Howe Cup this weekend,” McLeod said.
Ho agreed and said the team does not only want the Ivy and national titles, but also the final jewel in the Triple Crown of collegiate squash that is the Howe Cup.
Mandel said she thinks the tournament this weekend at Princeton will end with the Bulldogs facing Harvard again.
“Hopefully we can have a more decisive win this time,” Mandel said.
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