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Women’s Squash Returns Strong Core, Adds New Faces

Lucy+Bostwick+%E2%80%9918.+the+No.+1+on+the+ladder+and+team+captain+for+Middlebury+women%E2%80%99s+squash+was+among+the+highlights+in+an+opening+weekend+for+the+Panthers.
Lucy Bostwick ’18. the No. 1 on the ladder and team captain for Middlebury women’s squash was among the highlights in an opening weekend for the Panthers.

Lucy Bostwick ’18. the No. 1 on the ladder and team captain for Middlebury women’s squash was among the highlights in an opening weekend for the Panthers.

Middlebury Athletic Communications

Middlebury Athletic Communications

Lucy Bostwick ’18. the No. 1 on the ladder and team captain for Middlebury women’s squash was among the highlights in an opening weekend for the Panthers.

By EMILY BIAN

The women’s squash team is off to a strong start a pair of sweeps on Saturday, Dec. 2 against Hamilton and St. Lawrence at Hamilton in Clinton, New York. The Panthers dominated with two 9-0 victories, in which a single game was never dropped.

“The opening matches were great!” said team captain Lucy Bostwick ’18. With five new faces and five returning seniors, the Panthers have the depth to push into the No. 13 to 15 range in the ranking.

Last year’s team pulled out 9 wins against top rival teams including Amherst and Bates. Unfortunately, the team did not fare too well at the CSA Team Championships, losing against Dartmouth first round and University of Virginia in the consolation. However, this year the team has higher aspirations, starting off pre-season with a solid national ranking of No. 16.

The big first-year recruiting class is sure to help the team meet their goals this season. Meet the fresh five: Emily Beinkampen ’21, Olivia Cappello ’21, Natalie Madden ’21, Virginia Schaus ’21 and Maren Taylor ’21. All played high level competitive squash in various clubs and teams, they are ready to step up and compete at the collegiate level.

Not to mention all three Panthers that qualified for the CSA Individual Championships last season are returning to compete: Alexa Comai ’19 and Beatrijs Kuijpers ’19 are currently abroad, but Anne Glassie ’20 was playing in the No. 2 slot on the ladder last weekend.

With the win over Hamilton, the Panthers continued their streak of dominance over the Continentals, defeating them for the fourth consecutive time.

Madden began the sweep with her first collegiate win at line three when her opponent, Caitlin Stern, was retired after Madden won the first game 11-2. Additional first victories of their college careers came from Beinkampen at No. 4 (11-4, 11-8, 11-2) and Schaus at No 5 (11-6, 11-4, 11-7).

“It is so nice being able to compete with a team,” said Madden, who like many first-year collegiate squash players are unaccustomed to having the backing of teammates when they are at the junior levels. “When I got nervous, the cheers reminded me that I was playing for Middlebury, not just myself, which helped me compete harder.”

At the top of the ladder senior mainstay Lucy Bostwick ‘18 made the score 7-0 with tallies of 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 against Rafiatou Ouro-Aguy and Anne Glassie ‘20 captured a strong win (11-5, 11-2, 11-8) against Alex M. Infante.

Next up against St. Lawrence, Lily Bogle ’18 cruised by with scores of 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 against Alexandra Brazo at No. 8. In the middle of the ladder, Mira Chugh ’18 made the score 4-0 with another great win (11-0, 11-4, 11-4) against Cindy Yao, while Caroline Jarhling ’18 swept Katie Walsh (11-1, 11-4, 11-4) at the bottom of the ladder. Keeping up the momentum, Natasha Lowitt ’20 defeated Alexandra Limas at No. 7 (11-5, 11-5, 11-3).

“It was so fun to see all of our hard work in practice translate into our matches and to compete against other players besides ourselves,” said Bostwick, the team captain. “Traveling all together for the first time is also such a great bonding experience and is really exciting for the first-years because they get a taste of what J-term will be like. I was really proud of everyone’s hard-work, focus, and sportsmanship; it made me excited for the rest of the season.”

The squash team will return to action at their first home game this Saturday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. against Dartmouth at the squash courts.

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