Women’s squash sneaks past NESCAC rivals

By HEATHER BOEHM

Women’s squash made the trek down to Yale this weekend to battle it out in the College Squash Association National Championships. Middlebury went 1–2 for the weekend, facing some of the top ranked teams in the nation.

First up on Friday, Feb. 21, the Panthers were tested by #10 University of Virginia (UVA) for the second time this season. While the match didn’t go their way, Virginia Schaus ’22, Natasha Lowitt ’20, and Caroline Arena ’23 were each able to snag a game from their second-seeded opponents.

The following day, Middlebury geared up to face #14 George Washington University (GW) in the semifinals. Having been edged out by the Colonials 6–3 in January, the Panthers tried to close the gaps that GW had capitalized on to nab the win. It was a nail-biting fight that came down to the very last match at the sixth spot after the Panthers knotted the match at 4–4. However, the Panthers run would be stopped as a Colonial came from behind to steal the win.

“We fought well against UVA,” Lowitt said. “It really set us up well to take on George Washington. The match against GW was 4–4 and unfortunately, we lost the last match, but we were really proud of how everyone played. It was really exciting that we almost beat GW since we lost 6-3 earlier in the season.”

Sunday, Feb. 22, was a NESCAC showdown, with the winnter grabbing the No. 15 final national ranking. The Panthers had some trouble with Bates during the regular season when they ultimately fell 6–3. But after a weekend of tough competition, Middlebury was up for the task. The women quickly picked up the first four matches as the Bobcats remained silent. The Bobcats narrowed the gap by two before the Panthers responded once more with back-to-back-to-back wins in the first and seventh slots. Annie Glassie ’20 showed her experience as a veteran when she closed out the contest in her position without dropping a game.

“Beating Bates to end the season was really special because they have been such a rival all of my four years,” Lowitt said. “Our team’s love of the game and love for each other really showed this weekend.”