Feb. 17, 2007
New Haven, CT - No. 5 Yale's hopes of winning a fourth consecutive Howe Cup ended Saturday as they fell to No. 1 Princeton 7-2 in the semifinals. Coming off a grueling 5-4 victory over Trinity Friday, the Bulldogs could not handle the depth of a Princeton team, which had already defeated Yale once before.
Instead of avenging their loss to the Tigers earlier this month, the Bulldogs will have to wait to settle for a chance to get back at the University of Pennsylvania Sunday in the match for third place. No. 1 Catherine McLeod and No. 4 Alia Aziz pulled off victories for Yale in the loss. However, Yale lost the first five matches that finished, ending all hopes of a victory.
Aziz battled back from two games down to come away with a thrilling victory against Princeton's Gen Lessard. After losing the first two games 9-5, 10-9, Aziz won the next three games 9-5, 9-3, 9-6.
McLeod cruised to a victory against Princeton's Claire Rein-Weston at No. 1. She won the match in 9-3, 9-3, 9-7. After the match, Associate Head Coach Gareth Webber said that McLeod should have a good chance to compete for the individual championship in two weeks.
"She's got a good chance," Webber said. "She's been working hard and playing to her full potential. Catherine's put a lot of work in. She's played a lot since last season. She really wants it. She's hungry for it."
Head Coach David Talbott said Princeton overwhelmed Yale with the great depth of their lineup.
"Princeton played well," Talbott said. "Princeton on paper is the best team. We needed to catch a couple of breaks. They played solid throughout. They are a deeper team. Deeper, stronger team. They played to their potential. When they play to their potential, they are the best team."
Yale will play the Quakers tomorrow at 2 p.m. in a rematch of Yale's first regular season match of the year. Back in December, UPenn defeated Yale 5-4.
Talbott said the team looks forward to the rematch against the team that handed the Bulldogs their first loss.
"We can come in third place, so that's huge," Talbott said. "It's a big match for us tomorrow. We're looking forward to another shot at them. If we can finish third, it will be a good, solid year."
1. Catherine McLeod (Y) def. Claire Rein-Weston (P), 3-0 (9-3, 9-3, 9-7)
2. Neha Kumar (P) def. Miranda Ranieri (Y), 3-2 (9-3, 5-9, 7-9, 9-1, 9-5)
3. Amanda Siebert (P) def. Lauren McCrery (Y), 3-0 (9-2, 9-5, 9-6)
4. Alia Aziz (Y) def. Gen Lessard (P), 3-2 (5-9, 9-10, 9-5, 9-3, 9-6)
5. Ali Pearson (P) def. Kate Rapisarda (Y), 3-0 (9-5, 9-6, 9-5)
6. Casey Riley (P) def. Nicola Shiels (Y), 3-0 (9-7, 9-3, 9-7)
7. Marilla Hiltz (P) def. Sarah Barenbaum (Y), 3-1 (7-9, 9-2, 9-2, 9-0)
8. Carly Grabowski (P) def. Jessica Balderston (Y), 3-0 (9-4, 9-1, 9-2)
9. Kaitlin Sennatt (P) def. Tara Wadhwa (Y), 3-2 (9-6, 4-9, 2-9, 9-5, 9-2)
Report filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity