Following a third-place finish at NESCACs earlier this month, the women’s squash team finally had a weekend off after a long and well-fought three-day tournament hosted by Trinity. The Panthers, entering the tournament as the third seed, clinched out a 5-4 win over Bates in the first round. In the semifinals, Middlebury fell to Williams in a tough 6-3 loss but proceeded to blank Amherst 9-0 in the third-place playoff. The 14th-ranked Panthers look forward to the CSA Team Championships this February 22-24 at Trinity, hoping for a shot at winning the Kurtz Cup.
In their first victory over sixth-seeded Bates, the Panthers posted a narrow victory of 5-4. In the quarterfinal, Bates started with a 1-0 lead, but the Panthers followed close behind and rattled off three wins for a 3-1 advantage. Mira Chugh ’20 defeated Katie Bull at No. 9 (11-6, 13-15, 11-2, 11-7), while Alexa Comai ’19 won in the third spot (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10) and Natasha Lowitt ’20 was victorious against Molly Brooks at No. 8 (12-10, 11-6, 11-1). The Bobcats leveled the playing field at 3-3 with five-game triumphs at No. 5 and No. 2. In the seventh position, Gwen Davis ’22 made it 4-3 with a three-game win over Natalie Bachman (11-5, 11-5, 11-5). Virginia Schaus ’21 clinched the match with a three-game victory at No. 4 against Katie Manternach (11-5, 11-3, 11-0).
Against the Ephs (14-9) in the semifinals, Williams moved out to a 2-0 advantage with victories at No. 3 and No. 6. Chugh ’20 made the score 2-1 with an impressive 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 win over Adrienne Conza in the ninth slot. The Ephs regained their two-point advantage with a three-game victory at No. 2. Lowitt improved to 2-0 for the day, outlasting Alex Pear in five games at No. 8 (9-11, 15-13, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4). Williams clinched the match behind a five-game victory in the middle of the ladder, followed by a four-game triumph in the top spot. Davis tallied the third point for the Panthers, earning a five-game win at No. 7 against Kathryn Wright (8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-2). The Ephs recorded the last point, a five-game victory at No. 4, for the final 6-3 score.
In their sweep over the Mammoths, the Panthers only gave up five games for their 9-0 victory. Chugh tallied the first point with a win at No. 9, followed by Anne Glassie ’20 at No. 6, Comai at No.3, and Ideal Dowling ’22 at No. 2. For the match-clinching fifth point, Natasha Lowitt fought for an 11-3, 3-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5 victory against Margaret Werner in the eight position.
With this past weekend to recover from a long and strenuous NESCAC tournament, the women’s squash team will head into the CSA Team Championships fresh and ready to go.