HARTFORD, CT - On Saturday afternoon, the Ephs took on arch rival, Amherst, in the consolation semifinals of Nationals.
The Ephs hadn't lost the Little Three title in two decades, and this morning was not going to reverse that cemented winning streak. Cool and confident, the Ephs knew they had both the superior squash and the mental edge, and were excited to topple their rivals once again. Sophomore Sarah Willwerth (#3), junior Anna Nicholson (#6), and sophomore Adrienne Conza (#9) led the charge for the Ephs in the first wave of play. Willwerth and Nicholson both played beautiful squash and never gave their opponents any real openings to take control of the match, resulting in comfortable three game wins. Conza dropped the first two games before fighting her way back in and honing in on her impeccable skills. Conza won the third game, and was her opponent unable to recover, leading Conza to an action packed five-game win.
Riding off of this momentum, senior captain Esther Baek (#2), sophomore Abby LeBlanc (#5), and freshman Alex Pear (#8) were next on for the Ephs. Despite Baek's injury from yesterday, she continued her streak as a true leader. Baek was absolutely unstoppable. She won in three games. LeBlanc also played a well executed match. Despite dropping the first game 11-7, LeBlanc bounced back and captured the next three games leading to a four-game victory. Alex Pear played a very even three games with her Mammoth opponent, but she was unable to close out the games at any of the final key points, resulting in a three-game defeat.
Sophomore Julia Ward (#1), junior Melissa Swann (#4), and freshman Kathryn Wright (#7) were last on for the Ephs. Ward seized control of the 'T' early on and her opponent wasn't able to move her off of it, producing another three-game win for the Ephs. Swann came out a little slower than her Mammoth opponent and dropped the first game 11-7. She remained unphased, however, and won her next game 11-1, and went on to win the rest of the match in four games. Wright won the first two games, but her opponent came out charging in the next three games, resulting in a narrow five-game win over Wright.
Assistant coach Tom Hodgson had this to say after the match: "I saw strings of points and even games today that were absolutely brilliant and complex squash. We need to hone in on those moments and take them with us when we play Middlebury again tomorrow. Middlebury will be a big match as they beat us earlier in the season and then we beat them. This match will be the big tie breaker and the girls will have to play their best. If they play like they did today and go in with the same confidence, I have no doubt they will be a force to be reckoned with."
The Ephs take on Middlebury tomorrow at 12:30 in the consolation finals, playing for 13/14 place in the nation in Middletown, CT.
|1WS||Conway, Caroline||4.1797||Ward, Julia H.||4.56372||11-7,11-7,11-2||Williams College||C|
|2WS||Ang, Rachael||4.12863||Baek, Esther||4.52977||11-6,11-8,11-7||Williams College||C|
|3WS||Soroko, Lilly L||4.31966||Willwerth, Sarah||4.41344||11-3,11-8,11-2||Williams College||C|
|4WS||Sampat, Riddhi||4.08093||Swann, Melissa||4.27964||7-11,11-1,11-7,11-4||Williams College||C|
|5WS||Osborn, Keeley R.||4.05385||LeBlanc, Abigail||4.36751||7-11,11-8,11-6,11-7||Williams College||C|
|6WS||Sinha, Priya||4.07332||Nicholson, Anna||4.15252||11-5,11-3,11-6||Williams College||C|
|7WS||Klein, Pierson L.||3.98794||Wright, Kathryn A.||4.10787||4-11,2-11,11-7,11-9,11-9||Amherst College||C|
|8WS||Werner, Margaret C||3.98462||Pear, Alexandra||3.98466||11-9,14-12,11-8||Amherst College||C|
|9WS||Correia, Katherine S||3.99015||Conza, Adrienne||4.12258||10-12,6-11,11-6,11-5,11-5||Williams College||C|
|10WS||Mawji, Ashira||3.91665||Bower, Elizabeth||3.91211||11-1,13-15,11-5,11-5||Amherst College||C|