Women’s Squash Clinches Fourth Place Finish at NESCAC Championships
Issue   |   Tue, 02/06/2018 - 22:17

This weekend, the women’s squash team travelled to Clinton, New York to open postseason play at the NESCAC Championships, which were hosted by Hamilton. The tournament began on Feb. 3 and kicked off with No. 4 Amherst facing No. 5 Tufts.

The Mammoths’ tournament run got off to a hot start with the favorites gliding past Tufts in the opening round, 7-2, winning by an identical margin to the matchup between these two teams earlier in the season, which Amherst also won.

Tufts took an early lead, winning at the one and three spots. However, a five-game thriller in the second position, won by Kimberley Krayacich ’18, showed that the Mammoths would not cede the upper-hand so easily. The intense start gave way to a swift conclusion, as Amherst swept through the rest of the lineup, allowing Tufts to only take two games on the remaining six courts.

Having bested the Jumbos, the Mammoths advanced to the semifinals of the tournament, where they found themselves facing a much more formidable opponent: top-seeded Trinity.

Much like the previous contest against Tufts, the match between Amherst and Trinity moved swiftly. Unfortunately, however, this time the Mammoths were on the wrong side of the scoresheet. The Bantams mowed down most of Amherst’s lineup, winning positions one through seven in straight games.

However, unwilling to fully fold, Amherst remained resilient until the end, with Margaret Werner ’21 and Priya Sinha ’19 claiming their own victories in straight games at the eighth and ninth positions, respectively, to end the match on a high note. Despite these small victories, in the end, Amherst lost to Trinity 7-2.

After falling to the Bantams, Amherst played a hard-fought third-place consolation match against Middlebury on Feb. 4. Middlebury impressed at the top of the ladder, winning at the first and second positions. However, Amherst dominated the middle of the lineup, winning positions three through five. Rachel Ang ’19 narrowly won her match; after winning the first game, she had to battle back from a one-game deficit to win the match in five (11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9). Ang was followed by Caroline Conway ’20, who dealt a resounding blow to her Panther competitor, winning in straight games (11-9, 11-3, 11-2). Riddhi Sampat ’21 impressed in the fifth position, winning a close four-game affair (12-10, 11-9, 4-13, 11-6).

However, Middlebury clinched the win with a dominant showing in the lower positions, winning on the sixth, seventh and eighth courts, before Werner managed a narrow five-game win in the ninth position to close out the scoring. Despite the close nature of the match, ultimately the higher-seeded Panthers emerged with a 5-4 victory.

Amherst will host Mount Holyoke on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. in the team’s final match before continuing postseason action at the CSA Team Championships.