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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

First-year Riddhi Joshi competes in squash national championship

The Tufts women's squash team is pictured on Feb. 26, 2022.

After a spectacular freshman season that included a first-team all-NESCAC selection, Riddhi Joshi competed in Philadelphia, Penn. from March 4–5 at the CSA National Collegiate Individual Championships. 

Joshi was seeded 12th out of the 16 competitors in the Holleran Cup South division. In her opening match, she took on 5th-seeded first-year Lujan Palacios Benitez of Trinity College on Friday, March 4.  

Palacios Benitez, who was named to the all-NESCAC second team, jumped out to an early lead, claiming the first two games 11–7 and 11–8. Joshi fell behind in the few two games  before going on a big run to take back a game 11–7.

Palacios Benitez took a hard-fought fourth and final game, winning 11–8. Palacios Benitez  advanced to the tournament quarterfinals, while Joshi took on 13th-seeded Brown University first-year Danielle Benstock in the consolation bracket quarterfinals later that day. 

In this match, it was Joshi who jumped out to the quick start. Two extremely tight games resulted in two narrow 11–9 victories, putting her in the driver’s seat for a spot in the consolation semifinals. Benstock did not go down without a fight, tying the match up with a pair of 11–7 and 11–8 victories. 

Joshi put the match away with an 11–7 victory, advancing to the consultation semifinals of the Holleran Cup to take on 8th-seeded Ciara Richards of Drexel University, who had fallen to 9th-seeded Rachel Mashek in the round of 16. 

The next day ended with a frustrating result for Joshi, who fell in an extremely competitive match 10–12, 9–11, 6–11. The close scores show that this match truly could have gone either way.  

Joshi’s appearance capped what was likely one of the best seasons in program history for the Jumbos’ women’s squash team, while coach Joe Raho was named Conference Coach of the Year. Sophomore Caroline Chin joined Joshi on the all-conference first team, while first-year Aleezah Burhan was named to the second team. 

This was the second time since 2019 that the team has had three players named to all-conference teams, and its second-place finish in the NESCAC tournament was the school’s best team performance ever in conference history. 

Though the team will lose three departing seniors next year, the Jumbos will keep seven out of their nine players who competed at the NESCAC Championships, returning next year to pursue the team’s first NESCAC conference championships.


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