MIDDLETOWN, CT - In the Ephs' final round of nationals, they took on Middlebury to play off for 13/14th place in the nation.
This was an important match for the Ephs. The Ephs wanted to finish out the season strong and wanted to prove to themselves that they could beat Middlebury once again, after losing to them in January but beating them at NESCACs.
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 incredibly and won their matches in three games. Conza also played well after dropping the first game 11-9, but she bounced back and went on to win the next three. After the first round was complete, the Ephs had successfully put up a trio of wins on the score board and there was a lot to be proud of already.
Next on for the Ephs were senior captain Esther Baek (#2), sophomore Abby LeBlanc (#5), and freshman Alex Pear (#8). Baek came out victorious in her final match of her collegiate squash career, defeating her Panther opponent 11-6 in the fourth game. LeBlanc and Pear took control of their matches early on and their oponents were never able to recover, resulting in three-game wins. After another round of matches, the Ephs had successfully beaten Middlebury once again and were officially number 13 in the nation.
Sophomore Julia Ward (#1), junior Melissa Swann (#4), and freshman Kathryn Wright (#7) were last on for the Ephs. Ward played beautiful squash and the first game was neck and neck until she got injured towards the end of the game and had to retire. Swann lost the first game narrowly 11-8, but then went into turbo mode and won the match 11-2 in the fourth. Wright and her Panther opponent had a full out battle, each giving the match everything they had. Pushing each other to the limit, by the time the fifth game started, it had truly become a battle of attrition. Unfortuantely, Wright's opponent eventually outlasted her 11-9 in the fifth, but she put forth a truly valiant effort.
Head coach Zafi Levy had this to say after the match: "That was a spectacular match to finish and to end on. I'm proud of the girls and how far their squash has come throughout the season. We will truly miss our amazing senior Esther Baek and she will leave the team with big shoes to fill. Overall, a wonderful season for the women's team and I'm excited to see what next season has in store!"
|1WS||Ward, Julia H.||4.56594||kuijpers, beatrijs||4.51558||9-7||Middlebury College||RE|
|2WS||Baek, Esther||4.53578||Dowling, Ideal||4.31286||11-8,11-5,8-11,11-6||Williams College||C|
|3WS||Willwerth, Sarah||4.43792||Comai, Alexa L.||4.29357||11-3,11-2,11-4||Williams College||C|
|4WS||Swann, Melissa||4.27699||Schaus, Virginia L.||4.26314||8-11,11-8,11-5,11-2||Williams College||C|
|5WS||LeBlanc, Abigail||4.37218||Madden, Natalie L||4.24834||11-7,11-3,11-4||Williams College||C|
|6WS||Nicholson, Anna||4.18753||Glassie, Anne F.||4.09891||12-10,11-9,11-6||Williams College||C|
|7WS||Wright, Kathryn A.||4.07864||Davis, Gwen A||4.14283||9-11,11-5,11-4,10-12,11-9||Middlebury College||C|
|8WS||Pear, Alexandra||3.951||Lowitt, Natasha||4.14676||11-8,11-8,11-5||Williams College||C|
|9WS||Conza, Adrienne||4.12143||Chugh, Mira||4.10734||9-11,11-7,11-7,11-6||Williams College||C|
|10WS||Bower, Elizabeth||3.86671||Barr, Hadley||4.0823||11-9,9-11,11-5||Middlebury College||C|