NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 2 ranked Yale squad will face the first major challenges of the season over the weekend, with matches against No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Cornell, No. 16 Cornell, and No. 10 Williams in the Brady Squash Center.
Yale will start with Stanford, in a match Friday at 4 pm. Last season, when the two teams met, Yale came out on top 9-0 en route to an undefeated season. This season, Stanford boasts a highly competitive veteran squad, starting with junior Pamela Chua as their best player, ranked No. 9 nationally after the finish of last year, continuing with junior Kerry Sample at No. 29, senior Kyla Sherwood ranked at No. 38, and three other players that finished in the top 100 after last season. Stanford has a 5-1 record, losing only to Harvard, and by the same 6-3 score that the Bulldogs put up in the Ivy League Scrimmages.
In contrast, Yale has the No. 1 overall player in sophomore Millie Tomlinson, fellow sophomore Kim Hay at No. 15, senior captain Rhetta Nadas at No. 33, and four other top 70 players in sophomore Gwen Tilghman, junior Katie Ballaine, senior Alexandra van Arkel, and sophomore Lilly Fast. Yale will also finally get freshmen Issey Norman-Ross and Shihui Mao into the mix. The two missed most of the fall with injuries, but were able to play last weekend and will look to continue to rebound to full health this weekend.
On Saturday, Yale will match up with Cornell, who also fell 9-0 at the hands of the Bulldogs in 2010-11. Cornell has five top 100 players, starting with No. 16 Jaime Laird, and is 5-1 so far on the season, with their only loss coming to Stanford.
Sunday, Yale faces Columbia at noon and Williams at 4 pm. Last season, Yale topped Williams 9-0 and did not face Columbia, which just this season became a full varsity sport at the school. Williams has three ranked players, but none in the top 50. Columbia has two, but peaks at No. 72.
So far this season, Yale is 3-0, but is yet to face a team ranked higher than No. 17. However, Yale has certainly indicated a high level of ability, as the team is yet to drop a single match in the regular season. Even in the Ivy Scrimmages, only No. 1 ranked Harvard was able to defeat the Bulldogs.
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity