Coming off a victory in its regular season opener, the women’s squash team (2–1, 0–1 Ivy) lost to Penn (4–0, 3–0 Ivy) and defeated Franklin & Marshall (0–3) on Saturday.
Yale began the day at 11 a.m. with a tough loss against the Quakers, who managed to beat the Bulldogs by the score of 8–1.
Head coach David Talbott thinks the Elis have the talent to play better than they did in Saturday’s match, expressing that out of the nine players, only two or three Bulldogs played to their utmost potential.
“I thought Penn, [considering that] they have four seniors, was a more experienced team,” Talbott said. “Talent-wise, they are a stronger team, but overall we didn’t play to our capabilities.”
Despite the dominant performance by the Quakers, who finished last season fourth in the country with a 10–4 record, Talbott did not question his team’s preparation or desire.
“I think we got a bit intimidated,” Talbott said. “After we lost the first three matches, our girls got overwhelmed and it snowballed on us. Points were short and we weren’t able to drag them into rallies, which allowed them to control play.”
The Elis managed to capture one victory against the Quakers, as team captain Alia Aziz ’10 defeated Nabilla Ariffin at the No. 2 position. Aziz was losing her match 2–1, but rallied back to win the fourth and fifth games 13–11 and 11–8, respectively.
“It was really rewarding to come back and win,” Aziz said. “It was hard to step on the court and play a match knowing that we had already lost. I wasn’t focused in the first game at all, and then I came off the court and realized that I didn’t want to lose to Penn 9–0.”
The Elis quickly rebounded from the loss by earning a victory later on in the day when they traveled to Lancaster, Penn., to face Franklin & Marshall. The Bulldogs defeated the Diplomats 9–0, and No. 1 Logan Greer ’11 won her first match of the season by beating Morgan Smith 3–1.
Other notable performances for the Bulldogs included freshmen Carolyn Brown ’13 and Katie Ballaine ’13. Brown earned her first collegiate victory at the No. 7 position with a strong performance, defeating Courtney Mulligan in three games by scores of 11–1, 11–3, 11–3. Playing the No. 4 spot against the Diplomats was Ballaine, who defeated her opponent 3–0 while only losing four total points.
The Elis are confident that they will maintain their winning record, said Caroline Reigeluth ’11. She said she believes that the team has been preparing for matches with a strong work ethic and solid team chemistry.
“We have been working really hard this year,” Reigeluth said. “We have a good team dynamic and Alia’s leadership has made it really easy to come in and work hard.”
Yale’s next match is Jan. 9, when the Elis will be facing another Ivy League foe, Dartmouth. The match will be played at the Brady Squash Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium at 11 a.m.