Michelle Chan

The No. 6 women’s squash team opened up its season in commanding fashion with a decisive 9–0 victory over No. 13 Franklin & Marshall this Saturday.

The Bulldogs (1–0) defeated their opponents despite missing two players, Jen Davis ’18 and Helen Teegan ’20, who are both injured. In their place, Maddie Tomlinson ’17 took the No. 8 spot and Jessica Yacobucci ’20 moved into the No. 9 spot, winning their respective games to propel the team to an undefeated nine rounds. The sweep marks the third straight year that the Elis faced F&M (1–3) to begin the season and a continuance of their win streak against the Diplomats that stretches back to 1988.

“We went into the match with the goal of winning 9–0 without dropping a single game, and our positive energy, excitement and focus helped us to accomplish it,” Emily Sherwood ’19 said. “Because it was our first match of the season, I definitely think the team was ready to give it our all and that’s exactly what we did.”

The Bulldogs did not drop a single game in the afternoon, earning 3–0 victories across the board.

No. 1 Jenny Scherl ’17 soundly defeated her matchup, not giving up more than seven points in any game. No. 4 Shiyuan Mao ’17, No. 5 Jocelyn Lehman ’18 and Tomlinson all narrowly edged their opponents in their opening games, 13–11, before easily winning the following games.

The freshmen all performed well in their first regular season outing for Yale. No. 2 Lucy Beecroft ’20 and Yacobucci did not concede more than five points in any game they played, sweeping their debuts.

“Our freshmen are strong, with two of them in the top four of the lineup — Lucy Beecroft and Helen Teegan — who are competent and reliable when it comes down to them,” Mao said.

No. 3 Celine Yeap ’19, No. 6 Selena Maity ’18 and No. 7 Sherwood  all dominated their games as well, rounding out the Yale sweep. Ashley Suan ’18 won her exhibition game, 11–0, 11–1 and 11–2.

Competing at F&M gave the Bulldogs at opportunity to put to use all their hard work in practice this fall. Yacobucci said the biggest takeaway from the match was confidence, which forms a strong foundation for the team to take into the rest of the season.

Yale will look to capitalize on their good start to the season against No. 10 Brown (0–0) this Tuesday evening. The Bears — the Elis’ first Ivy League opponent — will open their season against the victorious Bulldogs. Last year, Yale took the match, 9–0. They have not lost to the Bears in regular Ivy League play in over eight years.

Still, the Elis will face multiple tough opponents this season, as all Ivy rivals are ranked in the top 10 in the nation. This difficult schedule does not deter the team from having high aspirations, however, as they attempt to improve upon their No. 5 ranking from last year.

“Every single person has improved dramatically since the end of last season,” Scherl said. “We are looking to reach the final of the national championship and of course take home the title.”

Yale will host Brown at home this Tuesday, Dec. 6.