Embarking on a five-hour journey this weekend, the women’s squash team traveled to Ithaca, N.Y., to face off against Ancient Eight foe Cornell in a quest for continued perfection in 2007.
Stretching their winning streak to six, the No. 2 Elis steamrolled Cornell to a final 9-0 score. The dominance was reflected deep through the Yale lineup, as the visitors won eight of the nine games, 3-0.
“We performed very well throughout the lineup,” Elisabeth Hill ’08 said. “It was a good atmosphere, spirits were very high after the match as well, and we were really happy to play them. The team definitely took [Cornell] seriously, and we were thinking towards Trinity as well so it was a good match overall.”
No. 1 Miranda Ranieri ’08 started off on a shaky note, winning a tough first game, 10-8. But the Bulldogs never looked back after that, with Ranieri demolishing Cornell’s Alex Cornett with 9-2 scores in her final two games on her way to the final three games to none score. From then on, the Elis exhibited their supremacy, claiming 12 games by a score of 9-0.
A few players competed against members of the Big Red men’s squash team. Team members said they felt it was a good experience and such matches help the game grow.
The Elis next face No. 3 Trinity in Hartford on Tuesday.
“Against [Cornell], the team kind of wanted to be working on our shots and getting our length right” Lauren McCrery ’07 said. “Trinity is going to be a really tough opponent. They are strong all through their ladder and have gotten new players second semester.”
Hill said Trinity was going to be one of the Bulldogs’ big competitors this year.
“[The match against Trinity] is not going to be a pushover,” she said. “I think we’re excited, and we feel that we’re ready for Tuesday. We don’t spend our whole season preparing for any one match, but we’ve been trying to sleep and eat well and just get mentally psyched up.”
Going into the matchup against Trinity last year, the Elis were undefeated and ranked No. 1. Despite their strong start, Yale scraped past with a score of 5-4, with Trinity proving to be a tough challenger. This year, the team expects no different from the Bantams and is working hard to prepare for the encounter.
“I think everyone at this point is just looking to sharpen their skills do some sessions working on strokes.” McCrery said “We need to be mentally and physically strong going into the match. It is going to be a tough match, but we are confident of our skills and hopefully we will come out on top.”
Several players said the strength of Trinity’s team was hard to gauge due to the number of transfers that join the team each year.
“Trinity is going to be a huge match for us.” No. 8 Nicola Shiels ’07 said. “They surprise you a lot by bringing in a lot of players who join from January or February. We know they have two more players in their top nine, which makes them a lot stronger and the match really close. It is going to come down to every match, and we are going to try our best, put in what we have been working on all season and work towards coming across with five wins.”
Players also said they felt Trinity’s home-court advantage was going to factor in to the match’s outcome.
“It is going to be really tough going [to Trinity] and away from home courts.” Shiels said. “Playing [at Trinity] is amazing; the fans are ridiculous, and you have to witness the atmosphere. It is an added disadvantage that they have home court advantage, but we’ll take it in our stride and keep our minds focused on our games and hopefully come away with a victory.”
Trinity, who heads into the encounter with a perfect 8-0 record, will also have its hands full in the coming weeks, with a series of meetings with the Ancient Eight elite — after playing the Bulldogs, the Bantams will face 4-0 Penn and 3-0 Princeton.