Smith College Squash played their hearts out but could not quite put away their higher ranked opponents, who simply played better to take the Epps Division Consolation Final 6-3 this morning at Harvard University.
The Howe Cup is played with the three-court system, and Haverford took a 2-1 lead after the first three matches, with Smith’s #6 Jasmine Wallas coming back to win in five after being down 2-1. #3 Meg Oliverio and #9 Mercedes Pepper fought hard against opponents who played very strongly.
In the next round the Smith Ann Wetzel nominee, #2 Jessica MacLeod put on a display of classic squash at its finest (deep drives followed by tight drops when the opponent was out of position) to what can only be termed “crush” her opponent 9-1,9-1,9-0. First year (and in her first year of squash!) Joane Poon just needed a little more experience to take her opponent, losing narrowly in four competitive games. Bostonite Jaye Cooke could not quite overcome her opponent’s hard-hitting and went down 3-0.
Up 4-2, Haverford needed only one more win to clinch the match with numbers 1, 4, and 7 still to play. In her best match of the year Smith #1 Shanita Williams combined hard drives with accurate drops and volley kills to dispatch her very fit opponent in straight games. Unfortunately for Smith, co-captain and #4 Alice Reznickova was hampered by a re-injured rib/back ailment and was not able to counter her opponents pressure losing 3-0. Only a few points separated fellow captain Elizabeth Guyman from victory as she went down with great tactical effort 9-7,9-7,10-8.
Haverford played a great match to reverse their 5-4 lost of two years ago, and there was great sportsmanship on the part of both teams. All four coaches from both teams were impressed by the effort and hustle of all players.
Outplaying their seeding of 31, Smith finishes the season in 30th place out of the 40 teams in the CSA. With wins in each of the past three weeks the team is looking forward to a great next season!
Many thanks to our #10 Liz Hughes and #12 Catie Blunt for coming with us for each match, dressed and ready to play in case of injury! They both got in a few exhibition games and gave a good account of themselves!