In a thrilling pair of matches against Ivy rivals this weekend, the No. 5 Yale women’s squash team recovered from a loss against No. 1 Harvard to beat No. 11 Dartmouth in its final match of the regular season.
Hosting Harvard at the Brady Squash Center on Friday afternoon, the Elis fell to the best team in the nation 9–0, equaling their performance from the year before. In the highly anticipated showdown, just two matches stretched to four games, revealing the depth of the Crimson roster. Yet the Yalies demonstrated their skills upon returning to the court on Sunday, sweeping Dartmouth 9–0 with five of nine matches settled in just three games.
“While we wish we had performed better against Harvard, we’re really heartened by how we played against Dartmouth,” captain Jen Davis ’18 said. “We’re definitely going to build on this weekend as we head into the CSA Championships this week.”
Although Yale suffered a lopsided 9–0 loss on Friday, many of the matches were closer than what the final score appeared to show. At the No. 1 position, both of Lucy Beecroft’s ’20 first two matches were settled by a margin of two points, and Harvard’s Georgina Kennedy needed four games to defeat Beecroft.
The competition also saw the return of Helen Teegan ’20, who missed the previous week because of the flu, but put up a strong fight on Friday, losing her final game by just two points.
Riya Mital ’21 continued to punch above her weight just a week after defeating her Columbia opponent after playing up a seed due to Teegan’s illness, fighting through four games before ultimately falling to her Crimson opponent.
“I wish that one more of the games had gone my way, but I’m still happy with how I played, and I’m really confident for the week ahead,” Mital said.
Yale recuperated quickly from its loss on Friday and demolished Dartmouth on Sunday just as it had the previous year. With the victory, the Elis finished the regular season with a record of 10–4, the same as in the 2016–17 season. The most exciting matchups against the Big Green came from seniors Jocelyn Lehman ’18 and Selena Maity ’18, both of whom knocked out their Dartmouth rivals after five intense games. Meanwhile, the rest of the team made short work of their opponents in just three games each.
“We wanted to finish our match against Dartmouth decisively and actually doing so was a great boost to the team’s confidence,” Emily Sherwood ’19 said. “It shows our ladder depth as well as our perseverance as we were able to turn around after a recent loss to finish the weekend with a solid win.”
With the regular season complete, the Bulldogs will use their final days before the CSA Team Championships on Feb. 16 to rest and practice. Asked how they expect to finish, many teammates expressed their continued belief that they will play well enough to place in the nation’s top four, which Yale has not achieved since its third-place finish in 2014.
Yale will travel to Cambridge, Mass. to compete in the CSA Team Championships on Friday. The CSA Team Championships will feature the nation’s top eight teams, five of which hail from the Ivy League.
The Bulldogs prevailed against all three of the teams ranked below them who will compete in Cambridge, but fell to the four that are ranked above them, although Yale’s loss to No. 4 Stanford was by just three matches.
Alex Reedy | firstname.lastname@example.org