HARTFORD, Conn. – Saturday, junior Millie Tomlinson vaulted her way into the semifinals of the College Squash Association Individual Championships for the third consecutive year.
On a day when all three Bulldogs competing in the Holleran Division fell, Tomlinson provided a big win as she topped Princeton Elizabeth Eyre in a five-game battle. Against the Princetonian, who is ranked No. 7 nationally to Tomlinson's No. 2 spot, Tomlinson took the first game 11-9. Eyre would battle back, though, to take the second 11-9 before pushing Tomlinson to the ropes with an 11-3 second-game win. Tomlinson, though, with no intentions of falling out just yet, battled back in the fourth to top Eyre 11-7. In the fifth, deciding, game, Tomlinson asserted herself to win 11-6 and set up a semifinal match with Trinity's Kanzy El Defrawy.
This was the third match of the year between Tomlinson and the Trinity freshman, who had the advantage of playing on her homecourt. The first time the two played, back on January 23rd, El Defrawy handed Tomlinson her first loss to a player other than Harvard's Amanda Sobhy since the beginning of Tomlinson's freshman season. The second time around, though, it was Tomlinson, playing in the Howe Cup. Although Trinity won the overall match, Tomlinson pulled out a four-game victory. This time was a four-game win again, but this time in favor of El Defrawy. Tomlinson was able to take the second game 11-6, but El Defrawy took the first 11-7 and finished out the match 11-9, 11-6.
In the Holleran Division, sophomore Issey Norman-Ross snagged the lone Yale win of the day, over Princeton's Hallie Dewey. Norman-Ross dropped the first two games 11-8 and 11-9, but came back strong to close out Dewey 11-6, 11-7, 11-3. Next up was Alexis Saunders, another Tiger. Saunders is ranked No. 34, while Norman-Ross is No. 41. The match went all the way down to the wire, with Norman-Ross coming back strong from an early deficit to tie the match at 2-2. The fifth game would prove close, but Saunders emerged on top with an 11-9 win.
Also in action on the main draw was freshman Annie Ballaine, who fell in five games to Harvard's Julianne Chu. Chu jumped out to an early 11-9, 11-6 lead, but, much like Norman-Ross, Ballaine came back to take the next two games by a score of 11-8 in each. Unfortunately, though, the similarities continued into the fifth game, which Chu won 11-5.
The final Bulldog still alive in the main bracket was junior Lilly Fast. Fast was matche dup with Nina Scott, out of Dartmouth. Scott took the first two games 12-10 and 11-7, but Fast was able to rally her way to an 11-5 win in the third. Unfortunately, she could not stave off defeat any further, as Scott took the fourth 11-6.
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity