Women's squash posts two victories, Little III's up next

Last week’s two victories put the Lord Jeffs in a strong position for this Saturday’s Little III Tournament against the Williams College Ephs and the Wesleyan University Cardinals at Williams.

Last Tuesday the Jeffs shutout a struggling Smith College Pioneer team with some strong play.

“We were confident that we could beat Smith,” said Emily Stark ’04.

The confidence that the team felt was warranted, and the Jeffs did not fall victim to a letdown.

Co-captain K.C. Giese ’01 led the team to victory on the Davenport Squash Courts by starting off the night with a convincing victory over Smith’s top seed, Jean Lee.

The rest of the team kept up the strong play all the way through the exhibition matches, without dropping a point all day.

To put the icing on the cake, Cara Coscarelli ’02 annihilated Smith’s Anne Miller in a nearly perfect victory in the exhibition match, taking a convincing 3-0 victory in front of the hometown crowd.

“[Smith] was weak but we still played well,” said Head Coach Jacqueline Bagwell.

The victory train continued rolling as the team traveled to meet Wellesley last Thursday at the Keohane Sports Center and brought home a more difficult 8-1 victory.

“All through the warm-ups I was convinced that it would be really close, but the team listened well between matches and showed a lot of poise,” Bagwell said.

Any concerns Bagwell may have had were quickly laid to rest as the games unfolded.

Both top seed Giese and second seed Roopali Agarwal ’03 dominated the Blue’s number one and two players, Laura Tillsley and Amy Connor.

Number three seed and Co-captain Vanessa Champion ’01 played solidly and extended the match to four games before eventually falling to Wellesley’s number three seed Lola Ayoola.

Number four and five seeds Susanna Burke ’03 and Katie Alburger ’03 continued the strong play of the team, and each secured solid victories.

Number six seed Tara Kinney struggled to pull out a four game victory over the Blue’s Rebecca Kramer Rosengard. The rest of the ladder performed well, pulling out an 8-1 victory.

“I was very impressed. The team played great,” Bagwell said.

Still in top form, the team played admirably before eventually falling 9-0 to a very strong Princeton Tiger team on Sunday.

However, the team expected Princeton would be a difficult game to win.

“We have a very young team this year with only two seniors. I think it will be a season where we’ll win some good matches, but we’ll probably struggle with some of the strong Division I Ivy League schools,” Champion said earlier in the season.

This Thursday, the Jeffs will travel to meet the Trinity College Bantams. The match should prove to be a very difficult one as the Bantams were ranked third in the nation last year and have proven strong again this season with a 6-0 record, including two impressive victories over Yale University and Dartmouth College .

The Trinity team is led by three-time Women’s Intercollegiate Squash Racquet Association All-American Janine Thompson and freshman phenomenon Alma Helal who reached the finals in the Betty Constable Individual Tournament two weeks ago.

After the match against Trinity, the team will enter the Little III Tournament. Wesleyan should be an easy match, as the Cardinals are 6-11 this year and lost to Wellesley.

The Ephs, with a 4-3 record, should prove more of a challenge. Williams has soundly defeated both Colby and Bowdoin Colleges, two teams that Amherst struggled against this season. However, with the strong recent play from the Jeffs-raising their record to 10-7-it should be a tight match.