NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Starting Wednesday, the Yale women's squash team will play three matches in five days – all against Ivy League rivals – to conclude the regular season.
No. 5 Yale currently sits at 9-3 (2-2 Ivy) after dropping consecutive matches to No. 4 Trinity, No. 1 Princeton, and No. 3 Penn. The Bulldogs will look to gain momentum going into the Howe Cup with this final slate of games, and start off with some good opportunities to get on track.
No. 9 Brown is up first, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Brady Squash Center. The Bears are 11-4 overall, but have only put together a 1-3 Ivy League record. That lone victory came 6-3 against No. 12 Columbia, a team that Yale beat 9-0. Brown has also fallen to two opponents that Yale defeated, in No. 6 Cornell and No. 7 Stanford, both teams that finished ahead 9-0 against the Bears.
On Friday it will be No. 8 Dartmouth and the Big Green's 5-6 (1-4 Ivy) record, playing at the Brady Squash Center at 10 a.m. (moved up from the original start time due to the impending winter storm). Dartmouth, like Yale, has fallen to both Princeton and Penn, and both schools have topped Columbia. Lending possible clarity to the size of the gap between Dartmouth and the Bulldogs, though, are the same matchups that gave Brown trouble. Like their Providence-based rivals, Dartmouth fell to both Cornell and Stanford earlier this season.
Finally, on Sunday, Yale will travel to Cambridge for a matchup against No. 2 Harvard. In recent years this match has been a battle between Nos. 1 and 2, but this year Yale is No. 5 and Princeton has dislodged Harvard from its stranglehold atop the standings. Harvard, like Yale, is still an impressive team. The Crimson are 9-1, including a 6-3 win over Penn, and have more returning top-end talent than any other program in the nation. The Crimson are helmed by sophomore Amanda Sobhy, who went undefeated in her rookie season to lead her team to the national championship and to win the individual championships for herself. Included in that undefeated season were three wins over Yale junior Millie Tomlinson, No. 2 in the nation after Sobhy. The Crimson also boast No. 3 Laura Gemmell, who, like Tomlinson and Sobhy, was unstoppable her freshman season (Tomlinson did have one loss, but it was in her very first match). Further, the Crimson have No. 11 Haley Mendez, No. 22 Natasha Kingshott, No. 23 Sarah Mumanachit, No. 47 Julianne Chu and No. 53 Megan Murray.
Yale boasts its own strong stable, though. After Tomlinson, junior Kim Hay is No. 6 (and has beaten Gemmell in the past), fellow junior Gwen Tilghman is No. 24, senior captain Katie Ballaine comes in at No. 28, and sophomores Shihui Mao and Issey Norman-Ross, along with junior Lilly Fast, hold down three of the spots between Nos. 38-41.
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity