HARTFORD, Conn. — The Williams women's squash team finished second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship this weekend. Living up to their second-seed position in the tournament, the Ephs were defeated by nationally ranked number-five Trinity in the finals on Sunday afternoon.
The women were happy with their finish this weekend, as they came in fourth last year, behind Middlebury, Bates and Trinity. After cruising to an 8-1 win over Wesleyan on Saturday morning, the Ephs were put to a test in the semi-finals against Middlebury, but were victorious – handing the Panthers a 6-3 loss.
Saturday started off strong for the Ephs, with their first challenge of the weekend coming from Wesleyan. Most of the Williams players were able to defeat their opponents 3-0, but at the number two position, captain Laura Henry had a tougher battle. After finding herself down two games, Henry stormed back to dominate the last three games — winning them all 11-6. Although Gibbs Cullen (#9) had close games, she was eventually defeated 3-0.
Next the Ephs faced Middlebury, the team that defeated Williams 5-4 in the playoffs last year. The Ephs came out determined and ready from the start and took the match, 6-3. First off the court for the women was Alyssa Northrop (#4), defeating her Middlebury foe in a close 3-0 match, including a 14-12 victory in the second game. Mia Fry (#8) and Caroline Sawin (#6) were finished shortly after, both recording four game victories over their respective opponents. Both Fry and Sawin came back from dropping the first game of their matches, winning the next three to bring the Ephs win total to three. After pulling out this mornings close match against Wesleyan, Henry's Middlebury opponent proved too strong, and Henry was defeated 3-1. After the first round of matches, Williams found themselves ahead 3-1, needing just two more matches to advance to the finals.
Nicole Feshbach (#5) was first off the court in the second round, defeating her adversary, 3-0. On the court next door, Hannah Kaemmer (#7) and Lily Grant (#9) battled hard, but were eventually defeated in three and four games, respectively. With two matches left, the Ephs just needed one more victory, but ended the match in fashion –- winning both. Ellie O'Neill (#3) clinched the victory and their place in the finals with her three game-victory. Captain Alli Rubin provided the icing on the cake with her victory at the number-one position. With the match tied 2-2, Rubin came out in the fifth game and dominated right from the start, taking the game 11-4 and the match 3-2.
"Making it to NESCAC finals was one of our major goals this season, and we knew it wasn't going to be easy," Rubin said. "Middlebury is always a tough match for us, and this match was no different. Everyone stepped up, and the 6-3 victory really showed our mental and physical strength."
The Ephs victory over Middlebury proved a lot, but they still had Trinity to face in the finals of the NESCAC Championships. Williams came into Sunday afternoon's match as the underdog, but played well, having multiple close games with the Bantams. Sawin had a strong performance, almost taking the third game of her match, but lost 13-11. Northrop was also close to taking a game off of her opponent, but was defeated 11-9. Although the Ephs played well, none were able to record a game off of Trinity and were defeated 9-0. The Bantams have now won seven consecutive NESCAC titles.
"I'm very pleased with the team's performance throughout the weekend," said coach Zafi Levy. "Our goal was to reach the finals of NESCAC's and we achieved it. I think we played very well against Wesleyan and Middlebury and played a hard match in the finals against one of the strongest teams in the nation."
Williams will only will have a couple days off, as they will travel to Hanover on Wednesday to play Dartmouth in their last match of the season before nationals.
Williams vs. Wesleyan Individual Results:
1. Ali Rubin (WIL) def. Foster (WES) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3
2. Laura Henry (WIL) def. Maxwell (WES) 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6
3. Eli O'Neil (WIL) def. Nelson (WES) 11-8, 11-5, 11-7
4. Alyssa Northrop (WIL) def. Zimmerman (WES) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5
5. Nichol Feshbach (WIL) def. Miller (WES) 11-2, 11-4, 11-5
6. Caroline Sawin (WIL) def. Tan (WES) 11-5, 11-3, 11-3
7. Mia Fry (WIL) def. Craig (WES) 11-8, 11-6, 11-8
8. Lily Grant (WIL) def. Schwed (WES) 11-2, 14-12, 11-8
9. Bayless (WES) def. Gibbs Cullen (WIL) 15-13, 13-11, 11-9
Williams vs. Middlebury Individual Results:
1. Ali Rubin (WIL) def. Charlotte Dewey (MID) 12-14, 11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 11-4
2. Abby Jenkins (MID) def. Laura Henry (WIL) 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6
3. Eli O'Neil (WIL) def. Annie Wymard (MID) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8
4. Alyssa Northrop (WIL) def. Tiffany Hau (MID) 11-6, 14-12, 11-9
5. Nichol Feshbach (WIL) def. Zoe Carey (MID) 11-5, 11-8, 11-8
6. Caroline Sawin (WIL) def. Saskia Pownall-Gray (MID) 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 14-12
7. Amanda Chen (MID) def. Hannah Kaemmer (WIL) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6
8. Mia Fry (WIL) def. Lindsay Becker (MID) 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8
9. Katie Dewey (MID) def. Lily Grant (WIL) 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9
Exh. Annie Ulrich (MID) def. Gibbs Cullen (WIL) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2
Williams vs. Trinity Individual Results:
1. Kanzy El Defrawy (TRIN) def. Ali Rubin (WIL) 11-3, 11-7, 11-6
2. Cata Pelaez (TRIN) def. Laura Henry (WIL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5
3. Ashley Tidman (TRIN) def. Eli O'Neil (WIL) 11-9, 11-7, 11-3
4. Robyn Hodgson (TRIN) def. Alyssa Northrop (WIL) 11-6, 11-9, 11-6
5. Naty Babjukova (TRIN) def. Nichol Feshbach (WIL) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5
6. Sachika Balvani (TRIN) def. Caroline Sawin (WIL) 11-4, 11-8, 13-11
7. Jenn Pelletier (TRIN) def. Hannah Kaemmer (WIL) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6
8. Chanel Erasmus (TRIN) def. Mia Fry (WIL) 11-6, 11-2, 11-2
9. Katiria Sanchez (TRIN) def. Lily Grant (WIL) 12-10, 11-8, 11-5
Exh. Halley Cruice (TRIN) def. Gibbs Cullen (WIL) 11-2, 11-2, 11-6