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No. 2 Trinity Edges No. 5 Yale 5-4

Millie Tomlinson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Millie Tomlinson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Despite an early lead, No. 5 Yale came up short against No. 2 Trinity Wednesday night in front of an energetic crowd at the Brady Squash Center. The 5-4 loss was the Bulldog's first of the season, while the Bantams remain undefeated on the year.

Yale (8-1, 2-0 Ivy) came into the game seeking revenge for last year's Howe Cup defeat, but could not prevail against Trinity (7-0), the toughest opponent Yale's has faced this season. 

The day began well for the Bulldogs, as sophomore Georgia Blatchford earned a 3-2 win in the No. 9 position. Trinity answered quickly, however, winning the No. 6 match in a close contest despite a tremendous effort from Yale captain Lilly Fast.

At No. 3, junior Shihui Mao took on Trinity senior Wee Nee Low. Clawing back from a 2-1 deficit, Mao evened the match at 2-2 despite coming within one point of defeat. In the deciding game, Mao held onto a slim lead for a 11-8 victory, giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead after the first three matches. 

In the second wave, freshman Shiyuan Mao notched a 3-0 win in the eighth spot. Meanwhile, at No. 5, freshman Jenny Scherl ground out a 3-1 win, coming back from a 10-7 deficit in the clinching game to put Yale within one match of victory. The Bantams triumphed in the No. 2 slot, where Trinity senior Catalina Pelaez outlasted Yale senior Kim Hay for a 3-2 victory, leaving Yale a 4-2 advantage heading into the final three matches. 

Although Yale needed just one win in the final set, Trinity bested the Bulldogs in all three matches to eke out a 5-4 win. Senior Gwen Tilghman came close to clinching a Bulldog victory, winning the fourth game 11-4 to tie her match at two games apiece. However, Trinity's Sachika Balvani held on for an 11-6 win in the deciding game.

Another Yale loss tied the match at 4-4, putting the result in the hands of Yale senior Millie Tomlinson and Trinity sophomore Kanzy El Defrawy, two of the best players in the country. Tomlinson took the first game with an impressive 11-5 win, but El Defrawy fought back, winning the next three games to clinch the match for the Bantams.

Yale will look to bounce back from the loss this weekend. The Bulldogs are set to host four matches at the Brady Squash Center, beginning with a 3 pm. contest on Friday against No. 7 Stanford.

Report by Evan Brown '16, Yale Sports Publicity

Results (via CSA):

Yale University Rating Trinity College Rating Winner's Score Winner Status
1WS Tomlinson,Millie 0.000 El Defrawy,Kanzy 0.000 5-11,11-5,11-7,11-2 Trinity College C
2WS Hay,Kimberley 0.000 Pelaez,Catalina 0.000 3-11,8-11,11-7,11-5,11-4 Trinity College C
3WS Mao,Shihui 0.000 Low,Wee Nee 0.000 6-11,8-11,11-6,14-12,11-8 Yale University C
4WS Norman-Ross,Issey 0.000 Kimberley,Anna Non-member 9-11,11-4,11-4,11-2 Trinity College C
5WS Scherl,Jenny 0.000 Tidman,Ashley 0.000 11-3,11-13,11-8,12-10 Yale University C
6WS Fast,Lillian A. 0.000 Babjukova,Natalie 0.000 7-11,11-6,11-9,10-12,11-8 Trinity College C
7WS Tilghman,Gwendoline C 0.000 Balvani,Sachika 0.000 11-9,3-11,11-8,4-11,11-6 Trinity College C
8WS Mao,Shiyuan 0.000 Pelletier,Jennifer L 0.000 11-4,11-5,11-7 Yale University C
9WS Blatchford,Georgia A. 0.000 Erasmus,Chanel 0.000 11-7,11-6,6-11,8-11,11-3 Yale University