Women’s Squash Halts Losing Skid with Victories at the Pioneer Valley Round Robin
Issue   |   Tue, 01/23/2018 - 22:41

The Amherst women’s squash team faced a busy schedule over winter break, staring down a lineup of seven tough competitors. The first match on the docket was played on Jan. 7 at home on the Davenport Courts against Yale, which handed Amherst its first loss of the season.

Yale, ranked sixth in the country, handily swept the Mammoths, who only managed to steal two sets from the Bulldogs the whole day, both of which came from Jenna Finkelstein ’20.
Despite the tough loss, the Mammoths had to face another stiff test against Middlebury on Jan. 10. However, the day unfortunately ended in another defeat for the Mammoths. The match was projected to be a hard-fought battle, with Amherst and Middlebury both ranked in the top 20 entering the meeting.

After falling in straight sets at the first and second positions, the Mammoths got on the board with Kimberly Krayacich ’18 notching a straight set victory on court three (11-4, 11-5, 11-8). Margaret Werner ’21 later captured another victory at the ninth position (1-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-6).

However, the Mammoths fell in each of the remaining matches, highlighted by strong four-set efforts by Katy Sabina Correia ’20 and Pierson Klein ’20. These losses ultimately resulted in the Mammoths second consecutive defeat, this time by a score of 7-2.

Amherst’s next match was again on the road, facing No. 11 Brown on Jan. 16. The team scored two victories in the seventh and ninth positions by Priya Sinha ’19 and Finkelstein, respectively. Sinha walked away with her win after a rousing five-set battle (7-11, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4), while Finkelstein came back from a first set loss to dominate her opponent in four sets (9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7). Despite the two winning efforts, Brown’s dominance at the top of the lineup led to another 7-2 defeat.

Returning to the Davenport Courts, the Mammoths looked to staunch the bleeding and end their losing streak when they hosted the Pioneer Valley Round Robin tournament, their final four opponents of the winter break. The first battle in the series was on Jan. 19 against Dickinson College, which proved to be a comfortable win.

The Mammoths swept the Red Devils 9-0, with a particularly impressive effort coming from Riddhi Sampat ’21, who had just returned to the lineup and triumphed in a five-set game at the seventh position.
The victories continued the next day, when the women’s team dominated St. Lawrence University in another 9-0 shutout. The sweep began with Haley McAtee ’18 leading the way on the first court, winning resoundingly in three sets. The trend continued up and down the lineup, with the Mammoths not giving away a single set to the Saints.

Amherst stormed into the last day of the tournament on Jan. 21 ready to handle its last two challengers, NESCAC foes Colby and Hamilton, and build on its win streak.

The first match of the day was against Colby and despite a tough losss for McAtee in the first position, the Mammoths rallied to win the rest of the games in the lineup, besting the Mules 8-1.
To close the tournament, Amherst easily swept aside Hamilton, dominating on all nine courts to cap an undefeated weekend.

The Mammoths will head to Wesleyan next Saturday, Jan. 27 to face off against both Wesleyan and Williams in the Little III Championships.