February 28, 2008

Ranieri Wins 2008 Betty Richie Award

Feb. 28, 2008

On Sat., Feb. 23, Yale captain Miranda Ranieri was presented with the 2008 Betty Richie Award for excellence in play, fairness, and sportsmanship. Ranieri is the fourth consecutive Yale player to win the award.

According to the College Squash Association, the trophy is given "to that collegiate player who best exemplifies the ideals of squash in her love of and devotion to the game, her strong sense of fairness, and her excellence of play, contributions, and leadership." Each school submits two votes for the award - one from the coach, and one representing the opinion of the entire team.

She received the award at a banquet in Princeton, N.J., on Saturday night. The banquet is traditionally held on the Saturday before the finals of the Howe Cup.

As usual, the modest Ranieri shrugged off the individual accomplishment.

"I'm glad I didn't let Yale down," she said. "But I think I owe my success completely to my teammates and coaches."

"I always enjoy playing players that are fair on the court," she continued. "I definitely try to keep sportsmanship in mind when I'm playing as well."

Head Coach Dave Talbott was proud that Ranieri was able to continue what appears to be turning into a Yale tradition. Frances Ho (2005), Michelle Quibell (2006), and Catherine McLeod (2007) are the three previous Richie Award winners. No other school has strung together more than two winners in a row.

"It just shows the quality of the players we've had, and the fact that they've been able to act as great representatives of Yale," he said. "[The streak] is extraordinary."

"Miranda's pretty much been the quiet leader her whole way through," he continued. "She's been an awesome captain this year, carrying on from the three women who came before her."

Indeed, Ranieri completed an outstanding 2007-2008 season playing No. 1 for Yale, amassing a 14-1 dual match record and leading the Bulldogs to a third-place finish in the Howe Cup.

"I'm very pleased with the outcome," she said of the season. "We trained hard and we accomplished what we were trying for all year. We're really happy with the result."

Though the team's season is now over, the focus for Yale will shift to this weekend's CSA Individual Championships in Annapolis, where Ranieri is the odds-on favorite to win. She said, though, that she was fine with receiving the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

"I like being in the position of having a lot of pressure on me," she said.

Talbott noted that this year's CSAs would be a bit different than the past two.

"She's been good enough to win these past two years, but hasn't been completely healthy," he said. "Now that she is [healthy] this year, there's probably a bit more pressure on her."

"But she's done a good job with that all year," he concluded.

Report filed by David Sherfinski '08, Yale Sports Publicity

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