Eight teams filled the Jadwin Gymnasium squash courts this past weekend as the women’s squash team competed in the CSA National Championships for the Howe Cup. Going into the tournament, the Tigers were ranked fifth, after Harvard, Trinity, Penn and Yale. The first round matchup on Friday was against Yale.
The Tigers started off strong, winning two of the three matches in the first shift. Junior Nicole Bunyan defeated Shihui Mao at the No. 3 spot for the second time this season with a 3-0 score. Junior Hallie Dewey also beat Gwendoline Tilghman at the No. 6 spot, with another decisive 3-0 victory. In the second shift, junior Alex Lunt defeated Jenny Scherl 3-1 to put Princeton up 3-1. The stunner match came at the No. 2 spot, when senior co-captain Libby Eyre faced Kimberly Hay. Drama struck when Hay had to take a 30-minute time-out when Eyre and Hay collided mid-match. The match would continue to be a thrilling five-setter until Eyre came out on top in the last set, winning 11-9. This put the Tigers up 4-2 going into the last shift. The Tigers faced tough matches in the third shift as freshman Maria Elena Ubina lost to former national champion Millie Tomlinson in three sets, and sophomore Rachel Leizman lost 3-1. The final nail-biter match between senior Alex Sawin and Lillian Fast seemed to be in Princeton’s hands when Sawin took the first two sets. However, the last three went to Fast to give Yale the victory over Princeton in the first round.
On day two of the tournament, the Tigers played Dartmouth in the consolation match. The Tigers had swept the Big Green 9-0 earlier in the season and they were once again able to dominate Dartmouth, winning seven of their nine matches with 3-0 sweeps with the other two being 3-1 victories. The most decisive victory was provided by senior co-captain Libby Eyre with a 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 win over Melina Turk. Junior Nicole Bunyan similarly won in a quick fashion, only needing 15 minutes against Nina Scott at the number three position. Their victory over Dartmouth led them to play sixth-seeded Cornell for fifth place in the Howe Cup.
On day three, the Tigers were playing another team that they had dominated before in the regular season 9-0. Once again, the Tiger’s held it together to defeat Cornell 8-1. In the first shift of players, Bunyan and Dewey won with 3-0 and 3-1 matches. A closer match between sophomore Tara Harrington and Laura Caty went to five sets. After a tight battle in the fifth set, Caty beat Harrington to make the score 2-1. Princeton would go on to win the next six matchups to secure fifth place in the National Championships.