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Women's Squash | Jumbos beat Huskies, Dahlman wins B Division

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 09:02

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Caroline Geiling / The Tufts Daily

After a difficult NESCAC Championships on the weekend of Jan. 31, the 25th ranked women’s squash team was back on the court this past Tuesday against Northeastern. It was the team’s second meeting with the 34th ranked Huskies, and once again the Jumbos won in convincing fashion. Tufts secured wins in the two through nine positions for an overall 8-1 victory.

In the No. 2 position, junior co-captain Ann Bellinger defeated her opponent in four games, losing the first but then winning three consecutive games, to win 5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10.  In the No. 3 position, freshman Anna Bezahler also won in four games by a score of 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-2. 

The matches in the four, five, and six positions were a bit more lopsided, with freshman Lynn Cheng, senior Caroline Howe, and freshman Rowan Rice each winning their matches in three games. 

In the No. 7 position, junior Charlotte Griffiths allowed her opponent only five points throughout the entire match. In the eight and nine position, sophomore Sophie Laing and junior Rachael Jackson also won in three games. 

“They definitely had a pretty good team at the top of the ladder,” junior co-captain Paige Dahlman said. “Our team ended up pulling out some really good wins and was actually able to capitalize on some of their weaknesses and show our strengths.”

The lone loss for the Jumbos came in the No. 1 position from Dahlman. She challenged her opponent by forcing the match to five games, but ultimately came up short, losing by a score of 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6. 

Dahlman, however, came back in a big way over the weekend at the Div. III Individual Championships in Brunswick, Maine at Bowdoin College. She finished first in the B Division Draw, defeating an impressive array of players on her way to victory. With 16 players in the draw, Dahlman won all four of her matches to claim the title.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Dahlman said.

On Friday night, Dahlman defeated junior Samantha Rosado of Mount Holyoke College 11-9, 15-13, and 11-7, securing a spot in the quarterfinals.  She then beat junior Leah Puklin of Connecticut College for the third time this season by a score of 11-8, 11-7, 12-10.  

In the semifinals, she defeated junior Elizabeth Brehman of Colby College 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10 to reach the final stage of the competition. Finally, on Sunday morning, Dahlman won the draw, beating Bowdoin freshman Chloe Polikoff by a score of 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9.

“The semi-finals [were] probably [the toughest match],” Dahlman said. “Colby’s No. 4 player kind of surprised me.  She was better than I was expecting.”

Dahlman was one of three Jumbos who participated in the Individual Championships over the weekend. Bellinger also competed in the B draw, but lost her first round match to junior Tara Tischio of Colby College 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, despite pushing her opponent to five games. 

Sophomore Paget Stanco was the lone Tufts participant in the A Division bracket, losing her first round match to Williams junior Caroline Sawin by a score of 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 in a tough five-game match.

The Jumbos’ next team competition is in two weekends at the CSA Team Championships, which is being held in Princeton, N.J. The team is excited for the opportunity to show how good they are.

We’re ranked really high in our division for Nationals,” Cheng said. “I’m really hoping that we can come out strong. I think we need to improve on keeping our focus in the game and not giving up.”

With a successful season coming to a close, the team now sees a victory at the Team Championships as the ultimate goal.

“I think we’re pretty pumped,” Dahlman said. “We would definitely like to win, and I think that that is very possible. We do not want to have a let down like last year, where we made it to the finals and weren’t quite able to pull out a win. We’re expecting good things.”

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