After two months away from the courts, the No. 4 women’s squash (7-3) returned to Jadwin Gymnasium on Saturday to kick off an action-packed weekend.
On Saturday Princeton faced off against 10th-ranked Brown, the first of the trio of top-10 teams they played over the two days. The Tigers got an easy start to their weekend of competition as Princeton dominated the Bears and easily won all 27 individual games. The Tigers gave up points in their games few and far in between. Senior Libby Eyre put up a particularly impressive performance, only dropping five points to her opponent in her match at the No. 2 spot, and sophomore Rachel Leizman allowed just six at the No. 4 position.
The easy Saturday was just what Princeton needed before heading into one of the most difficult days of its season. On Sunday, the Tigers played a double-header against No. 5 Yale and then No. 7 Stanford. The 2013 Bulldogs match was fraught with tension. The last time Princeton played Yale, Princeton just barely escaped with a 5-4 victory in a New Haven thriller. The match, Princeton’s most difficult of their season, had essentially sealed the Tigers’ eventual possession of the outright Ivy League title and paved the way to an undefeated season.
This time around, the match was just as close. The first shift on the court volleyed back and forth with its Bulldog opponents. Sophomore Tara Harrington (No. 9) lost in four, while junior Nicole Bunyan (No. 3) won in three straight to bring the overall match score to 1-1. Junior Hallie Dewey, playing at the No. 6 spot, has been the Tiger on the hottest streak this season. Going into the Yale match, Dewey had yet to lose a match to an opponent — she was the only Princeton player to win both her matches against No. 1 Harvard and No. 3 Penn earlier this season. Against Yale, Dewey won a tight first game before closing out her individual match in four games for a win to make it 2-1 for Princeton.
The second flight had similar mixed results. Eyre lost in a quick three at the No. 2 spot to even the match to 2-2, while rookie Alexandra Toth picked up a tough fought victory at No. 8. Princeton’s 3-2 edge, however, was quickly equalized again as junior Alex Lunt dropped three straight at No. 5. Senior Alex Sawin secured a much needed win at the No. 7 spot, while Leizman fell in three at No. 4. Princeton ended the match dropping an extremely tight 4-5 match to Yale.
Yale’s match was quite a contrast to the Stanford face-off: the Tigers easily swept the No. 7 Cardinal 9-0, bringing their weekend tally to 2-1. While Princeton was essentially knocked out of Ivy League contention on Wednesday with the loss to Penn, the Howe Cup national team championships are just three weeks away, to be played in Jadwin Gym. The last time the Tigers hosted the tournament was in 2008, when Princeton won the national team title.
The Tigers’ next match is on Friday, Feb. 7, against Columbia, on the road in New York City. Match time is scheduled for 8 p.m.