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Women's Squash | Jumbos go 2-2 over holiday weekend

Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 18:01

wsquash

Courtesy Sally Pratt

After a difficult fall season in which the women’s squash team went 3-5, the 28th ranked Jumbos defeated Haverford College 9-0 on Sunday, sweeping six of the nine matches in three games.

“We remembered when Haverford ended our season last year at Nationals,” junior co-captain Ann Bellinger said. “We came out motivated and took it to them. Everyone played really well.”

Although the women’s squash team was victorious over both Haverford College and Bucknell University, Drexel University and Yale University soundly defeated the Jumbos in Philadelphia and New Haven, Conn., over the holiday weekend.

On Saturday, junior co-captain Paige Dahlman achieved Tufts’ sole winning match over Drexel, the host team beat the Jumbos 8-1. Dahlman finished at the No. 3 position with scores of 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9. Dahlman had missed the fall semester of play because of her time spent abroad.

“I am really happy for Paige,” Bellinger said. “Her win was a really big deal because an 8-1 loss is a lot less heartbreaking than a 9-0 loss. Drexel is a very deep team with great players at every position, and I think we played really well.”

In the last match-up of the weekend, fifth-ranked Yale University humbled the Jumbos on Sunday, beating them 9-0. Not a single Tufts player won a game, as the Bulldogs proved to be too talented to handle.

Despite the losses, the Jumbos saw the east coast trip as an important opportunity for the team.

“The trip was a great bonding experience for our team,” Bellinger said. “We had a great dinner at a team member’s house on the way there, everyone got a great night’s sleep and we were ready to play in the morning.”

Even though the match seemed lopsided on paper, the Jumbos competed well and were happy with their performances. 

“Drexel recently hired a new coach and have recruited some of the top players in both the country and the world,” Dahlman said. “We may not have had as many wins as we may have liked, but we played very competitively.”

Against Haverford sophomore Paget Stanco, in the No. 1 position, won her match in four games, and the Jumbos placed two through six, all in three games. The highlight of the match came in the No. 4 position, as freshman Anna Bezahler won in three games with 11-2, 11-6, 11-2.

Against Drexel, however, Stanco lost her match in three games, 9-11, 2-11, 8-11. Bellinger, in the No. 2 position, also dropped all three games, losing by a score of 1-11, 6-11, 5-11. The Jumbos lost all but one match in three games, and that one match came at the No. 8 position. In that spot, junior Charlotte Griffiths lost in four games by a score of 9-11, 13-11, 8-11, 3-11.

Despite the mixed results in the first weekend of the spring season, the Jumbos feel that there is still room for improvement.

“Our focus on the court could be better,” Bellinger said. “We need to use the warm up period to get ourselves more ready mentally for tough matches.”

In addition to becoming more focused, Dahlman believes the team should be more confident in its abilities.

“I think we should be more aggressive on the court,” Dahlman said. “Overall, the psyche has to be better. We should have the confidence that we can pull out wins over higher ranked teams.”

This weekend features big matches that will set the tone for the rest of the season. The Jumbos will play 25th-ranked William Smith College, 24th-ranked Colby College and 26th-ranked Connecticut College.

“This is an exciting weekend because we get to see some of the teams ranked right above us,” Bellinger said. “I think we stand a really good chance against all three teams.”

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