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No. 2 Yale Beats No. 1 Harvard to Win Ivy League Championship 5-4

The 2011 Ivy League Champion Yale Women's Squash Team.
The 2011 Ivy League Champion Yale Women's Squash Team.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the final match of the regular season the undefeated No. 2 Bulldogs (14-0, 6-0 Ivy) came back from a 4-3 deficit against No. 1 Harvard (8-1, 5-1 Ivy) to win 5-4 and capture the Ivy League championship.  The thrilling match at Harvard's Murr Center came down to senior Caroline Reigeluth, playing in the seventh spot, against Harvard's Sarah Mumanachit. Going into their match, Yale was down 4-3, meaning that both Reigeluth and freshman Kim Hay needed victories to give the Bulldogs the title.  Hay made short work of her opponent, but Reigeluth started off with a first game loss.  From there though, she methodically worked her way back, eventually tying Mumanachit at two games apiece. 

"I knew," she said, "that if I could get ahead of her I'd be able to win the fifth game". 

And that's exactly what she did, jumping out to a 10-5 lead that she finished off with a beautiful drop shot that Mumanachit couldn't return to give the Bulldogs the Ivy League women's squash trophy. 

Both teams celebrated their seniors before the match in honor of their excellent collegiate careers, and Yale's graduating players all played fantastically.  Besides Reigeluth, team captain Logan Greer and Sarah Toomey also will graduate this year.  Greer played Laura Gemmell and didn't have quite enough to beat collegiate squash's best player, but coach David Talbott explained that "without her, we don't win the match today", citing her leadership and motivational abilities as well as her stellar play.  Toomey had a crucial win in the third spot to start the day off. 

This was the first Ivy League title for all of Yale's players, and Coach Talbott said that it came as a result of "[building] up a little each year" that ultimately culminated in "hard work pay[ing] off". 

Outside of the seniors and Hay, freshman Millie Tomlinson had a dominant win in the second spot and Alexandra van Arkel won her match three games to none.  Rhetta Nadas, Katie Ballaine, and Gwen Tilghman all played well but emerged empty handed against the previously unbeaten Crimson squad. 

Besides beating Harvard and capturing the Ivy League title, the win also set Yale up to be the favorites in the upcoming Howe Cup, which will be played next weekend at Princeton.  The Ivy League title is Yale's first in seven years and one that the team seems well set-up to win again, with six of their top nine players returning and a strong recruiting class.

No. 1 Laura Gemmell (H) def. Logan Greer (Y) 3-0: 11-0, 11-6, 11-8
No. 2 Camilla Tomlinson (Y) def. Nirasha Guruge (H) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-7
No. 3 Sarah Toomey (Y) def. Alisha Mashruwala (H) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-9
No. 4 Kimberley Hay (Y) def. June Tiong (H) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-3
No. 5 Natasha Kingshott (H) def. Rhetta Nadas 3-1: 11-6, 17-19, 11-5, 11-3
No. 6 Cece Cortes (H) def. Katie Ballaine (Y) 3-0: 11-1, 11-6, 11-2
No. 7 Caroline Reigeluth (Y) def. Sarah Mumanachit (H) 3-2: 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7
No. 8 Bethan Williams (H) def. Gwendoline Tilghman (Y) 3-1: 10-12, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6
No. 9 Alexandra Van Arkel (Y) def. Alexandra Zindman (H): 11-6, 11-5, 11-5

report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity