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Women's Squash | Jumbos win two of three matches

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 02:01

Women's squash

Courtesy Sally Pratt

The women’s squash team was back on the court over the weekend, competing in three big matches against teams above and below them in the national rankings. The No. 28 Jumbos faced No. 25 William Smith College on Friday night, followed by matchups with No. 24 Colby College and No. 26 Connecticut College on Saturday.

The Jumbos traveled to New Haven, Conn. on Friday night for an early-morning matchup the next day against Colby at 9 a.m.

“It would have been nice to get some more rest for the Colby match,” junior co-captain Ann Bellinger said.

Fatigue was possibly a factor in the Jumbos’ first contest Saturday, as they fell to the Mules by a score of 6-3. The match was close to the very end, as five of nine matches needed more than three games to determine the victor. Tufts won in the second, fifth and sixth positions.

Junior co-captain Paige Dahlman has continued her season-long consistency, defeating her Colby counterpart by a score of 15-13, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7. In the No. 5 position, freshman Lynn Cheng outlasted her opponent in a grueling five game match by a score of 3-11, 13-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8. The last win for Tufts came from sophomore Tammara Gary in the No. 6 position. Gary won her match by a score of 11-5, 13-15, 11-6, 11-5.

In the No. 1 position, Stanco lost in five games by a score of 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6. Bellinger lost in the third spot in three games, and freshman Anna Bezahler also lost in the No. 4 position in four games, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6.

“They definitely got the best of us in the early morning,” junior Charlotte Griffiths said.

After the defeat, Tufts faced Connecticut College that afternoon. The Jumbos pulled out a close 5-4 victory; one that is sure to help Tufts in the rankings.

Match scores were not posted for the match against Conn. College, but Tufts was able to squeeze out the close victory thanks to match wins from Dahlman, Bezahler, Gary, sophomore Caroline Howe and freshman Rowan Rice.

On Friday night, Tufts began the weekend with a huge win over William Smith at the Smith Round Robin, winning the match by a score of 7-2. Tufts won in the first seven positions, with Stanco in the number one position winning the toughest match in five games by a score of 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5. The rest of the Jumbos cruised to wins in either three or four games each. In the second position, Dahlman won by a score of 11-9, 11-3, 11-1, while Bellinger won in the number three position by a score of 11-8, 11-4, 11-4.

“I am proud that the team fought hard even when they were down,” Bellinger said. “The highlight of the weekend was my co-captain Paige Dahlman winning all three of her matches pretty decisively. It is great to have her back from abroad.”

Griffiths credited the team’s positive mentality for the successful weekend.

“We came in ready to fight and do damage to the other teams,” Griffiths said. “We had the most adrenaline and were ready to start off the weekend on the right foot. I think we performed really well.”

After proving that they can compete with elite teams, the Jumbos will head into this week with looking to make the C Division for Nationals. They face No. 29 Boston College on Wednesday evening, and then compete in the NESCAC tournament this weekend. Depending on how the Jumbos perform in their matchups against in-conference foes, they will have a chance at playing in a higher tier of the College Squash Association’s National Championships in Princeton, N.J. in February.

“We hopefully will play Colby and Connecticut College again in the NESCAC tournament,” Bellinger said. “If we beat Colby, we will be in the C Division for Nationals.”

The team is focused and ready to show the country that it is a force to be reckoned with later in the season.

“We are working hard and it is definitely possible for us to pull out wins this week,” Griffiths said.

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