After a successful NESCAC tournament that saw the Amherst women’s squash team finish fifth out of the 11 participating programs, the purple and white continued their recent run of success in a pair of non-conference matches.
Against Mount Holyoke and St. Lawrence, Amherst posted matching victories by scores of 8-1. The two programs were a chance for the purple and white to recover from a long NESCAC tournament, where they faced some of the toughest competition in the country.
Last Wednesday, the purple and white made the short trip to South Hadley to take on Mt. Holyoke in this year’s edition of the local rivalry, one which Amherst has dominated in recent seasons.
With the purple and white entering the match ranked 18th in the country, 13 spots higher than the Lyons, the dominance that occurred was expected.
With sweeps on six of the nine courts, Amherst quickly made sure that the final result would be in its favor. On court one, junior Kimberly Krayacich allowed her Mt. Holyoke opponent to hang around in each of the three sets that were played, before pulling away at the end of each for a 11-6, 12-10, 11-6.
Courts four through nine featured more unbalanced results, with the first-year trio of Caroline Conway, Katy Sabrina Correia and Jenna Finkelstein posting three-set victories, a feat that was matched by Mae Cromwell ’18 and Emma Crowe ’19.
Meanwhile, on the second court, sophomore Rachael Ang recovered from a first-set loss, winning the next three sets for a four-set 12-14, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 win.
The purple and white suffered its lone loss of the day when Priya Sinha ’19 fell to her Lyon opponent in a five-set heartbreaker.
Amherst returned home to the Davenport Squash Courts for the last time this season on Friday in a matchup against No. 23 St. Lawrence. Before the match, Amherst reinstituted Haley McAtee ’18 and Jenni Brown ’20 in the lineup, in the fourth and eighth spots respectively.
Even with these changes, the purple and white justified the difference in rankings from the outset, outdoing their previous performance against Mt. Holyoke by managing sweeps on seven of the nine competitive courts, as well as in the exhibition match.
For the second straight match, Conway, Correia, Finkelstein, Cromwell and Crowe all posted three set victories. Brown also managed a matching win in her return, and Sinha, only two days after suffering a tough defeat against Mt. Holyoke, bounced back with an eighth three-setter.
With Krayacich losing in three sets on court one, the only truly competitive action of the afternoon took place on the second court, where Ang found herself locked in a tight battle with the Saints’ Zoe Kagan.
After losing the first and third sets and finding herself on the brink of a loss, Ang steeled her nerves and closed out the match strong, winning in five sets by a 11-13, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 margin.
With the regular season over, the purple and white have only the CSA Team Championships left to play. This year’s edition will be hosted by Princeton on the weekend of Feb. 24-26. Amherst has just over a week to prepare for the last matches of the season against a yet-to-be-determined foe.