PRINCETON, N.J. — The No. 4 Yale Bulldogs saw their national title hopes come to an end Saturday as they suffered a 6-3 defeat against No. 1 Harvard in the Howe Cup semifinals.
Coming into the match, Yale knew it would face a stiff test from the defending national champions, who have yet to lose a match this year. While the Bulldogs got off to a good start, Harvard pulled away from a 2-2 tie to secure the victory.
Yale quickly went up 1-0 as sophomore Annie Ballaine dispatched her opponent, but a Harvard victory at No. 3 evened the match. At No. 8, freshman Shiyuan Mao took care of her opponent in three games, but Harvard answered with a win in the second spot. With the match knotted at 2-2, Yale senior Gwen Tilghman pushed Harvard's Julianne Chu to five games, but fell 11-7 in the deciding game.
The loss gave the Crimson a 3-2 edge they would not relinquish. Seizing the momentum, Harvard won matches at Nos. 1, 5 and 7 to seal the victory. Yale picked up a win from junior Issey Norman-Ross in the No. 4 slot to make the final score 6-3.
After an inspiring win against No. 5 Princeton yesterday, Yale could not pull off the upset against the top team in the country. However, the Bulldogs did improve on their regular season result against their rivals, a 7-2 loss at the Brady Squash Center in New Haven. Coach Dave Talbott said the team played a much stronger, more competitive match than it did in the previous contest.
"Yale's women came out believing they could win the match, and their start showed that they were prepared to fight hard in every spot. I was proud of the way every player gave their best effort, and all of them competed one hundred percent."
Yale will look to once again improve on a regular season showing Sunday in the third-place game, where they will face No. 3 Penn. When the two teams met Feb. 1 in Philadelphia, the Quakers edged the Bulldogs by a 5-4 margin; Yale will look to reverse the outcome in its final team match of the year. The contest will begin tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Jadwin Squash Courts in Princeton, N.J.
Report by Evan Brown '16, Yale Sports Publicity
|Harvard University||Rating||Yale University||Rating||Winner's Score||Winner||Status|
|5WS||Gemmell,Michelle A||0.000||Scherl,Jenny||0.000||11-9,11-6,11-7||Harvard University||C|
|6WS||Chu,Julianne L.||0.000||Tilghman,Gwendoline C||0.000||15-13,6-11,12-10,8-11,11-7||Harvard University||C|
|7WS||MacGowan,Dileas S.||0.000||Fast,Lillian A.||0.000||16-14,11-6,11-7||Harvard University||C|
|9WS||Murray,Megan A.||0.000||Ballaine,Annie Y||0.000||11-7,11-7,11-6||Yale University||C|
|10WS||Monrad,Caroline||0.000||Blatchford,Georgia A.||0.000||11-8,11-2,11-5||Yale University||C|