Women's Squash | Jumbos compete in difficult NESCAC tournament in New Yorl
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 06:02
The women’s squash team competed at the NESCAC tournament in Hamilton, N.Y. at Colgate University over the weekend, coming in 10th place out of 11 teams. The tournament saw the team rebound from a difficult first-round loss to Bowdoin with a win over Connecticut College in the first consolation round, before ultimately falling to Colby 7-2 in the second consolation round.
Although Tufts had trouble with Colby in its last match of the consolation bracket, the team did prevail over Conn. College on Saturday. This marked the second time the Jumbos and Camels faced off this season. While the match score was just 5-4 in favor of Tufts in their first meeting, Tufts won more decisively this time around, earning a 7-2 victory.
Sophomore Paget Stanco won her match in the No. 1 position in three games, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8, junior co-captain Paige Dahlman won at the No. 2 spot in four games by a score of 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, and junior co-captain Ann Bellinger won in the third position in three games, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5. In the No. 5 position, freshman Lynn Cheng won her match in four games, winning three straight after dropping the first game to her Conn. College counterpart. Senior Caroline Howe won in four games as well, playing in the No. 6 spot.
“Everybody stepped up and did really well,” freshman Anna Bezahler said.
In their final match of the weekend against Colby, Dahlman won her match in the No. 2 position by a score of 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6. The other win for Tufts came from Bezahler in the fourth position. Bezahler won her match in five games by a score of 2-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10.
The rest of the team struggled against Colby. In the No. 1 position, Stanco fell in three games by a score of 11-9, 11-8, 11-3. Bellinger also had a hard time with her Colby opponent, losing in three games by a score of 11-5, 11-9, 13-11 in the No. 3 position.
“I thought we played as well as we could,” Bezahler said. “But all the teams came out strong. Colby came out and put it all out [there] very quickly, and we tried our best but as a team couldn’t pull it out.”
Even though the result was not what Tufts had hoped for, there were bright spots from the Colby match, such as Bezahler’s victory.
“One of our players, the No. 4 [Anna Bezahler], was down two to one, and then she ended up winning the game,” freshman Lynn Cheng said. “[It] was very exciting for all of us.”
The first match of the weekend for No. 10 seed Tufts came on Friday night in the first round of the tournament against seventh-seeded Bowdoin College. The Jumbos were defeated by a match score of 9-0. Stanco, who again played in the top position, had a grueling five-game match in which three of the games went to extra points. She fell to Bowdoin junior Rachel Barnes, 12-10, 12-14, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6.
Dahlman, Bellinger and Bezahler fell in three games apiece in the ensuing No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 matches, respectively. Cheng in the fifth position pushed her Bowdoin foe to four games, but ultimately lost, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6.
“I thought as a team we played really well,” Cheng said. “There were hard-fought matches, so as a team I don’t think we were that disappointed.”
The Jumbos continue the season on Feb. 4 at Northeastern before competing in the Div. III Individual Championships and the College Squash Association Team Championships later in the month. The team is extremely excited to compete and prove their talent.
“[I’m] looking forward to hopefully seeing some teams that we’ve lost to in the season and proving ourselves as a strong team that we are,” Bezahler said. “[I’m also looking forward to] everybody just being on their A-game going into it with a lot of practices in the next couple weeks.”
Tufts has a good reason to be enthusiastic about its chances heading into national competition, as the team has had competitive matches against teams seeded comparably in the national rankings.
“I think that’s the last stretch where we can really prove ourselves,” Cheng said.