On Friday evening before a packed house at Brady Squash Center, the No. 6 Yale women’s squash team started its regular season with a bang in a resounding victory over a competitive No. 9 Drexel squad.
The Bulldogs (1–0) dominated the Dragons (4–3) 9 to 0, losing only a total of three games over the entirety of the nine matches. Celine Yeap ’19, Lucy Beecroft ’20 and captain Emily Sherwood ’19 each led the team with 3-0 wins. Beecroft, the Elis’ top player, made good progress on her quest to win an individual championship this season. This weekend’s results showed that the intensive, meticulously curated training sessions that the women’s squash team regularly participates in are already paying dividends. Head coach Dave Talbott noted that the triumph over Drexel surpassed his expectations.
“The match this past weekend helped us see how we were,” Talbott said. “I thought we’d be more like a 7–2 match but to have 9–0 and to only lose three games was a more dominant performance than we expected.”
Talbott attributed the Elis’ success at home to its new training regimen this season. According to Talbott, building up core strength is vital to the team since it allows the team to get to the ball faster. Due to the team’s small size, one of the most important things to Talbott is staying healthy.
Assistant coach Lynn Leong shared similar sentiments with Talbott. She noted that this year’s team has gained experience from last year’s season. She also complimented the hard-working disposition of team, which she said could help the Bulldogs potentially surprise top-tier teams in their matches going forward.
“Last year nationally we finished fourth and we’re hoping this season to either retain or move up to the top three positions,” Leong said.
The players on the team remain excited for what the rest of the season has to bring. Despite satisfaction with the team’s performance against the Dragons on Friday, the Elis now turn their focus to the bevy of matches that await Yale in January and February.
The Bulldogs hope to stay undefeated until its last match of the regular season against Harvard. Yale’s ultimate goal in the next few years is to compete with the No. 1 Crimson. But at the moment, the coaches acknowledge the talent the Harvard team boasts. As things currently stand, Harvard is the standard in women’s squash, having lost only one individual game in a match last year.
“For us to win every match was a great way to start the season and a big confidence booster,” Beecroft ’19 said. “We can’t wait to continue competing and showing everyone how hard we have worked in the preseason.”
Other obstacles lie in the path of the Elis. While the squad continues to ramp up for the clash with Harvard, a match with No. 11 Brown is next on the menu this Wednesday night at home.
A season ago, the Bulldogs dominated the Bears in Providence, winning 9–0. Talbott understands the potential repercussions of the impending Yale-Brown showdown, considering it’s his team’s final game before the team’s winter break, which runs from Dec. 6 to Jan. 6.
“We’re playing Brown: We wanna make sure we cover that. I think for our women, we got an opportunity,” Talbott said. “We want to get into the top five in the country and want to stay within the elite top three in the country.”
The Bulldogs take on Brown this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Brady Squash Center.
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