Ephs Battle Their Way to Final Round of NESCAC Championship

Sarah Willwerth '21 - Courtesy Michael T. Bello/mtbello.com
Sarah Willwerth '21 - Courtesy Michael T. Bello/mtbello.com

CLINTON, NY - The Ephs faced the Wesleyan Cardinals and the Middlebury Panthers in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the NESCAC tournament.  With an 8-1 win over Wesleyan and a 6-3 win over Middlebury the Ephs advanced to the NESCAC championship match on Sunday versus Trinity.

Today the team woke up excited to try and make it to the final round of the NESCAC championship: this was a lofty goal, but one which they had been working towards all term. In order to make it to the final round, the Ephs needed to beat a team they played last weekend and a team they have always had competitive matches with. First on the docket was Wesleyan: number 3-10 all won in 3 games, using short shots and using aggressive serves to their advantage, while number 2 co-captain Hayley Parsons won in a gritty 4-gamer. Highlights included co-captain Ananya Mahalingam-Dhingra's close 15-13 victory and Esther Baek's dominating her opponent 11-0 in the second game. Nicole Friedman fought gracefully against Laila Samy, but fell in three games.

After lunch and some resting, the women's team returned to the courts ready to play a team that had nothing to lose against WIlliams. The Middlebury team appeared incredibly excited to play the Ephs again, and it took a lot of energy for the Ephs team to rally and focus their efforts, especially in consideration of the late timeframe of the match.

Up first, number six Sarah Willwerth fought hard in a true marathon of a match that lasted a very long time, due to her and her opponent's similar playing styles and similar levels of determination. Though Sarah lost in 5, she held on with grit and athleticism for the entire match in a very inspiring way. Melissa Swann at the number eight position and co-captain Hayley Parsons both won, with Parsons winning in four and Swann in three.

Caroline Hogan, playing number nine, won in 4 games, making excellent use of the boast and different serves in order to defeat her opponent. Esther Baek at number four won quickly in 3, which was satisfying for her after her long match against UVA last weekend. Julia Ward at number three fought through an intense 5-game match, and won decisively in the 5th despite the Middlebury audience's spirited cheering. Co-captain Nicole Friedman won in 4 games at the number 1 position, playing an opponent who historically has proven quite difficult to beat. Abby Leblanc at the number seven position lost in 5 despite her hard work. Co-captain Ananya Mahalingam-Dhingra at the number 5 position lost in 4.

The team looks forward to the final round of the tournament tomorrow.

Co-Captain Hayley Parsons commented, "Following our two great matches today, I believe we have strong momentum moving into the finals of NESCACs tomorrow!"

 Coach Zafi Levy stated, "I am really happy with the way we played yesterday. The team had to work hard twice in one day with a short break in between matches. Our seniors did a great job leading the way and carry the team to the final."

#13 Williams College Women 8, #21 Wesleyan University Women 1
Feb 03, 2018 at Clinton, N.Y. (Little Squash Courts) 

Singles competition

1. Laila Samy (WESW) def. Nicole Friedman (WILW) 11-6, 11-5, 11-9

2. Hayley Parsons (WILW) def. Aditi Prasad (WESW) 11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 15-13

3. Julia Ward (WILW) def. Ananya Vir (WESW) 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4

4. Esther Baek (WILW) def. Josie Russ (WESW) 11-6, 11-0, 11-3

5. A.Mahalingam-Dhingra (WILW) def. Natasha Feenstra (WESW) 11-2, 15-13, 11-5

6. Sarah Willwerth (WILW) def. Nina Premutico (WESW) 11-5, 11-1, 11-7

7. Abby Leblanc (WILW) def. Tatum Leclair (WESW) 11-4, 11-2, 11-1

8. Melissa Swann (WILW) def. Ali Imperiale (WESW) 11-7, 11-3, 11-6

9. Caroline Hogan (WILW) def. Sarah Clothier (WESW) 11-4, 11-3, 11-1

Exh. Anna Nicholson (WILW) def. Ale Lampietti (WESW) 11-5, 11-9, 11-7


#13 Williams College Women 6, #15 Middlebury College Women 3
Feb 03, 2018 at Clinton, N.Y. (Little Squash Center) 

Singles competition

1. Nicole Friedman (WILW) def. Beatrijs Kuijpers (MIDDW) 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 11-3

2. Hayley Parsons (WILW) def. Lucy Bostwick (MIDDW) 11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4

3. Julia Ward (WILW) def. Alexa Comai (MIDDW) 11-3, 4-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3

4. Esther Baek (WILW) def. Anne Glassie (MIDDW) 11-8, 11-2, 11-4

5. Natalie Madden (MIDDW) def. A.Mahalingam-Dhingra (WILW) 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9

6. Virginia Schaus (MIDDW) def. Sarah Willwerth (WILW) 11-6, 4-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6

7. Emily Beinkampen (MIDDW) def. Abby Leblanc (WILW) 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5

8. Melissa Swann (WILW) def. Mira Chugh (MIDDW) 11-8, 11-9, 11-3

9. Caroline Hogan (WILW) def. Natasha Lowitt (MIDDW) 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10

Exh. Anna Nicholson (WILW) def. Lily Bogle (MIDDW) 11-3, 11-6, 11-4

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