Williamstown, MA –– The Williams College women's squash team has been training daily, enduring weightlifting sessions, and many sets of ghosting, but they are excited to showcase their hard work when they open their season November 22 on the road playing Yale.
Last season, the Ephs finished 16-10, ranked 13th in the nation, and they also finished second in NESCAC. This year's Eph team is young with just three seniors on the roster, but the team is eyeing a top 10 finish nationally. Lost to graduation was Ester Baek, who played #2 for the majority of last season, so the Ephs return eight of their top nine players from last year.
Interim coach Blair Dils said "The team really showed their commitment in the offseason and the fall and came in ready to hit the ground running on day one. The talent gap between our top player and our lowest player is smaller than it's ever been. Getting the first-years acclimated to the intensity of team competition will be something to work on, but the team is gelling nicely so far. And once Julia, Abby and Adrienne come back in January, competition for a place in the top nine is going to be fierce."
This year the Ephs have added five new players to their roster and their roster is one of the most talented and diverse incoming classes the team has had in years. Joining the Ephs is Quan Ng from Vancouver, Canada. Ng, known for her deadly nicks, represented British Columbia for the past couple of years and was consistently ranked in the top 10 in Canada.
In addition to Ng, fellow countryman Haley Jefferson from Ontario, Canada has become a crucial member of this team and is known for her graceful strokes and agility. Jefferson was consistently ranked in the top 5 in Canada during her junior career.
Mira Kamat has joined the team from Mumbai, India. Kamat is known for her competitive spirit and she was ranked in the top 10 for most of her junior career in India. The fourth addition to this year's freshman class is Nikita Srivastava from Redwood Shores, California. Nikita is bringing her uplifting attitude and her seven years of experience playing on the US Junior circuit. The final member of the freshmen class is Isabel Kelly who lives in Weston, Mass. Known for her lobs, Kelly played top #3 on her high school squash team at Noble & Greenough School.
When asked about the freshmen class, Coach Dils commented: "We're very excited about the addition of five talented first-years to the team. They give us a lot of depth, possibly the most we've seen in the last several years. We expect to be very competitive on our bottom court [positions 7-9] this year."
The majority of the junior class is abroad for the first semester, but have no fear, Sarah Willwerth, who played #3 for most of the season last year is on campus and ready to take on the competition. The Ephs are currently missing Julia Ward, Abigail Leblanc, and Adrienne Conza. All three women were starters last season and the team is very excited to have these three juniors back for the 2020 portion of the schedule.
The three Eph seniors include Melissa Swann, Anna Nicholson, and Eliza Bower, all of whom have been exemplary role models with their leadership and sportsmanship. This trio is very excited to start their last and final season of collegiate squash. When asked about the upcoming season, co-captains Swann and Nicholson said "The team is super excited to start matches after a fun preseason. Our five first years are a great addition to the squad. We've had a strong preseason and look forward to carrying that momentum into the season. Go Cows Moo!"
The Ephs will hit the road to pen the 2019-20 campaign and on November 22nd they will challenge Yale on the Bulldogs' home courts. The team will also be playing Dickinson, Hamilton, and Connecticut College that weekend at Yale.
Follow the Eph men's and women's squash teams @ephsquash on Instagram and @EphSports on Twitter.