With the team season complete, six members of the Yale men’s and women’s squash teams travelled to Washington, D.C. this weekend for the College Squash Association Individual Championships.
While all four men lost their opening matches on Friday, Spencer Lovejoy ’20 went on to win the consolation bracket in the A Division. On the women’s side, Lucy Beecroft ’20 fell in the quarterfinal, while Helen Teegan ’20 enjoyed the longest run in the winner’s bracket of all the Bulldogs, making it to the semifinals of her B Division.
“It was a great experience to play in the individuals, and I was proud to represent Yale at that level,” Teegan said. “Making it to the semifinals was quite difficult, and I really had to push myself to get that far.”
For the men’s team, Lovejoy and Harrison Gill ’21 represented Yale in hopes for the A Division Pool Trophy, whereas Yohan Pandole ’19 and Jay Losty ’19 entered the Molloy West and Molloy North Divisions, respectively, in efforts to claim the B Division title. Their aspirations came to naught, however, as each Bulldog headed to the consolation brackets after dropping a Round of 16 match.
Lovejoy fell to Columbia’s Velavan Senthilkumar in a five-game battle. Despite returning his opponent’s two-game lead with two wins of his own, Lovejoy could not complete the comeback. But the brutal 90-minute defeat proved a symbol of determination for Lovejoy, who turned the loss into inspiration and entered the consolation draw a stronger, smarter player.
The sophomore cruised through the consolation quarterfinals, defeating his opponent 11–7, 11–9 and 11–4 to accelerate into the semifinals. The upwards trajectory continued, as Lovejoy prevailed in a four-game contest, positioning him to fight in Sunday’s consolation final. With an 11–8, 11–2 and 11–7 win, Lovejoy ended his sophomore season ranked No. 9 in the nation.
“This [first] match provided me with good information on what I need to improve and come back even stronger,” Lovejoy said.” I’m happy with the way I represented our program this year and I am hoping to represent us even better next year.”
Also in the A Division, Gill entered his first CSA Individuals seeded No. 6 overall. The rookie faced a tough battle in the main draw, facing an opponent from St. Lawrence, a team that demolished Yale 7–2 in the regular season. Gill’s efforts on the court proved futile, however, as he fell to Moustafa Bayoumy in a four-game loss. He could not regain control of the tournament and fell in the consolation quarterfinals 11–5, 11–1 and 11–8.
In the B Division, Pandole’s trip to CSA Individuals began poorly with a three-game loss, but the junior turned it around to make it all the way to the consolation final. Relying on quick thinking and calculated maneuvers in the consolation bracket, Pandole returned to the court with a fervor that yielded him two three-game decimations with 11–6, 11–5 and 11–7 results in the quarterfinals and 11–7, 11–6 and 11–7 decisions in the semifinals. The Molloy West final went to five games, but Pandole ultimately fell in the decisive frame.
Losty dropped both his opening matches and was eliminated from the tournament, falling in straight games in the main draw before going to five sets in the consolation quarterfinals.
The top two players for the Bulldog women this season, Beecroft and Teegan, won their Round of 16 games on Friday. Beecroft rallied from two games down to secure a main draw victory. The sophomore’s rally included an emphatic 11–0 win in the fourth game.
“Winning my first match as the 10th seed playing against the seventh seed required keeping my composure through all five games of the match,” Beecroft said.
Meanwhile, Teegan crushed Connecticut’s Elizabeth Varoli in three games. In the quarterfinals, it was Teegan’s turn to come back from two games down, as she fought back against Trinity’s Jennifer Haley for a five-game win.
Meanwhile, Beecroft’s run ended after she fell in straight games to Harvard’s Amelia Henley.
“I’m happy with my performance over the weekend and pleased to finish top eight and get First-Team All-American,” Beecroft said. “I’m looking forward to some off season training now and ready to come back stronger next year.”
Teegan faltered in the semifinals, losing in three games to Harvard’s Eleonore Evans.
At the CSA Team Championships last month, the women finished fourth in the nation while the men placed 10th.
Lauren Cueto | firstname.lastname@example.org
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