NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Four Bulldogs received honors from the coaching staff to wrap up the 2012-13 season, in which the Bulldogs finished No. 5 in the nation.
Junior Millie Tomlinson won the team's Most Valuable Player award for the second consecutive season, which is awarded to "that member whose ability and personal achievement is of greatest value to the Yale Women's Squash Team". Tomlinson played at No. 1 all season for the Bulldogs and finished ranked No. 3 nationally. Tomlinson is, simply put, one of the most valuable players in collegiate squash, offering a near-automatic victory at the No. 1 slot against the vast majority of opponents. She finished the year 11-2 and ranked No.3 overall, behind Harvard's Amanda Sobhy and Trinity's Kanzy El-Defrawy. Sobhy is 4-0 against Tomlinson since coming to Harvard, and El-Defrawy, a freshman, is 2-1. Against everybody else in squash, Tomlinson was lights-out, sweeping her way through both Ivy League and non-Ivy play.
Senior Katie Harrison was awarded the John A. Blum Squash Award, which is "presented to that member of the team who, through character, dedication, and sportsmanship, has made the greatest contribution to Yale's Women's Squash". Harrison went 10-2 in her final season as a Bulldog, playing between Nos. 7-9. On a team with only three seniors, Harrison also provided a steady veteran presence, instilling the work ethic necessary to be as good as the Bulldogs have been throughout her tenure.
The team's captain, senior Katie Ballaine, was awarded the Coaches' Special Award,
which goes to "that member whose presence was vital to spirit of women's squash at Yale". Ballaine, in addition to serving as captain, played at the top of the Bulldog lineup, playing between Nos. 2-4 on her way to a 10-6 record. Ballaine and Harrison both have younger sisters on the team that have worked their ways into the lineup.
Finally, sophomore Shihui Mao won the Hunt Welch Most Improved Player award. Mao began the year ranked No. 38, but played her way into the No. 16 spot by season's end. After Hay went down, Mao was called on to play a more important role than she had in either her freshman season or at the beginning of this one. She did a tremendous job en route to a 10-2 record, and only got knocked out of the CSA Individual Championships when she was forced to play against Tomlinson.
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity