Sam Rubin

Rebounding from last week’s losses to No. 6 Stanford and No. 4 Trinity, the No. 4 Bulldogs played No. 13 George Washington and No. 11 Virginia this past weekend. The Elis dominated the Colonials, going undefeated in all nine matches and following up with a 7-2 success against Virginia. Six of the games in the top nine ended within three matches.

“The scores we have show that we’re in the top four caliber of squash teams this year and we’re excited to keep playing this way up until the season ends,” No. 5 captain, Emily Sherwood ’19 said. “For me, I think I played well. Knowing these matches are the last of my college squash career has motivated me to play my heart out. And I’m sad to know it’ll be over so soon.”

Sherwood and No. 6 Riya Mital ’21 had particularly successful matches during the George Washington game, with the former losing only eight points in three games and the latter losing only six. Both No. 3 Celine Yeap ’19 and Mital ended their games with a final score of 11-0. Additionally, all top nine seeds won their matches within three games.

Lucy Beecroft ’20, the No. 1 seed, dominated both games, scoring 6-11,7-11 and 7-11 in the Virginia match and 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in the George Washington match. Her back-to-back sweeps of both teams’ top players caught the attention of her teammates, especially Sherwood.

“We pretty much won handedly, but Lucy winning in three against the George Washington and University of Virginia girls is good.” Sherwood said. “[Beecroft’s] a top player and it’s always fun to see her give it all on the court.”

In addition to improving the team’s overall record, the wins were also crucial in improving team morale coming off of last week’s disappointing loss at the hands of top-ranked foe, Stanford. The match, which featured teams coached by brothers Dave and Mark Talbott, concluded with a Cardinal win in California.

“We’re really happy with Saturday’s results against George Washington, everyone played really well,” Aishwarya Bhattacharya ’21 said. “It was a good match to practice our game plans and get our confidence up before the upcoming Cornell- Columbia weekend matches. U.Va is a good team, and they’ve had some good results and close matches recently, so we want to use this opportunity to practice and improve the aspects of our game we are working on.”

The results this weekend show that the team is not allowing last week’s loss get in its way. The new training regimen, along with staggering wins against most of its recent opponents, has boosted the team’s confidence for the remainder of the season.

Sherwood attributed the team’s improved stamina on the court as a direct result of the new training program.

“I think for me a very interesting or exciting moment was being able to withstand long points,” Sherwood said. “Even if I had a super long rally, I was able to continue the game without much trouble. That’s the same for my whole team, we’ve been working on our fitness so I’m happy it’s paying off.”

Coach Dave Talbott also echoed praise for the team’s stellar performance and added that defeating the University of Virginia was a particularly significant victory for the team with serious implications for tournament seeding.

“For us, where we could finish in the Ivy, we have that one loss, it’s about seeding in the national tournament,” Talbott said. “U.Va was a team we had to cover, they have a solid scholarship program, and we want to be top-five going into the tournament. From that aspect, we bounced back well. This team wasn’t as strong as Trinity and Stanford from last week. We’re just stronger up top than U.Va and G.W. We lost at 7 and 9, but we’re strong at the top and in the middle.”

The Elis will next hit the road to take on Cornell and Columbia in New York on Saturday Feb. 2 and Sunday Feb. 3.

Reese Koppel | reese.koppel@yale.edu

Kelly Wei | kelly.wei@yale.edu