Courtesy of Yale Athletics

As the season draws to an end, captain No. 5 Emily Sherwood ’19 has proven to be an indispensable leader for the Elis’ women’s squash team.

In the fall, the team aimed to stay in the top four, despite having graduated three of its top nine players from last year. As captain this year, Sherwood has helped Yale achieve this goal, powering the Bulldogs to a 9–3 record and No. 4 ranking in the nation.

“It being the last season is definitely bittersweet,” said Sherwood. “I’m really proud of myself for how far I’ve come since freshman year. The team has grown so much, on and off the court, and it’s incredibly to be able it witness it firsthand.”

Sherwood’s final season has featured multiple individual successes. Of her seven wins this campaign, she swept her opponent in six of them – against Cornell, Columbia, UVA, George Washington, Tufts and Amherst.

Particularly noteworthy matches for Sherwood include the past weekend’s match against Cornell, as well as the scrimmage against Penn. During the Cornell match, Sherwood dominated against the Big Red with a final score of 11–5 11–8 11–5. Yale came in third during the Ivy League scrimmage, defeating Penn with a final score of 7–2.

Prior to coming to Yale, she represented the United States at the 2013 Maccabi Games, winning both the team and individual gold medals. She was also ranked as No. 7 in the U19 division and came in ninth at the 2015 Pioneer Junior open. Sherwood captained the St. Ann’s squash team during her sophomore year of high school.

Both team members and coaches hailed the team’s camaraderie this season under Sherwood’s leadership as captain. First-year Molly Tomlinson ’22 ssaid the upperclassmen set an example that pushes her to work harder.

“It’s definitely a much closer-knit team compared to last season. I think with that kind of positivity, we should be able to do pretty well, even hold our standards, surprise other teams as well,” said assistant coach Lynn Leong. “I think that’s a big takeaway in terms of what I’m seeing.”

The team is currently preparing for team nationals on Feb. 22, which is regarded as the most important match of the season.

The College Squash Association Women’s Team Championships, also known as the Howe Cup, are only a few weeks away and will be held at multiple sites, including Trinity College. The Howe Cup is an annual team championship tournament. It is the largest squash event for women in the United States.

Even with the uphill battle, the team remains optimistic, depending on their seniors to enhance the overall cohesion of the team.

“It will be nice to finish our season at home with senior day recognizing our two amazing seniors, Emily and Celine [Yeap],” said No. 1 Lucy Beecroft ’20. “[They] have played some of their best squash this season and have been great leaders for the rest of the team throughout the season.”

The team plays Harvard and Dartmouth this upcoming weekend.

Reese Koppel | asha.prihar@yale.edu

Kelly Wei | asha.prihar@yale.edu