February 25, 2012

No. 2 Yale Tops No. 3 Princeton 7-2 at Howe Cup, Will Face No. 1 Harvard in Championship

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Saturday, the No. 2 Yale women's squash team topped No. 3 Princeton 7-2 in Cambridge to advance to a final that will be a rematch of last year's national championship. 

Harvard advanced to the final on the strength of a 9-0 victory over No. 5 Trinity, and set the stage for a rematch between the nation's top two teams.  Yale and Harvard faced off just two weeks ago in the regular season finale, and Harvard came away with a 5-4 victory that was especially frustrating because Yale had gone up 4-2, and simply could not close out the win.  The Bulldogs will try to make up for that loss Sunday, and if they are able to win will come home national champions.

In Saturday's match, Yale played well from top to bottom.  No. 1 ranked sophomore Millie Tomlinson knocked off the nation's third best player in Julie Cerullo at No. 1, winning 11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9 in the No. 1 spot. 

At No. 2, fifteenth ranked sophomore Kim Hay topped No. 13 Elizabeth Eyre 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, with Eyre retiring after the third game.

In the third spot, senior captain Rhetta Nadas, ranked No. 33, went up against freshman Nicole Bunyan.  Nadas won the first game 11-7, but Bunyan equalized the score with a 14-12 win in the second.  Nadas took the third game 11-7, but after that it was Bunyan all the way, as she won the fourth and fifth games 11-6 and 11-7, respectively. 

At No. 4, No. 56 ranked senior Alexandra van Arkel fell in straight games to No. 36 Katie Giovinazzo.

From there on, it was all Bulldogs, though.  Junior Katie Ballaine upset Alexis Saunders 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9 at No. 5.  Ballaine is ranked No. 47, while Saunders is No. 32.  The win was Ballaine's second upset in her last three matches, as she topped No. 20 Natasha Kingshott in the Harvard match as well. 

In the sixth spot, No. 46 ranked sophomore Gwen Tilghman knocked off No. 37 Alexandra Sawin in another upset, winning 13-11, 11-4, 11-7. 

At No. 7, freshman Shihui Mao topped Hallie Dewey 11-8, 11-5, 11-7.  The win was Yale's fifth, and clinched their return to the national championship.

At No. 8, sophomore Lilly Fast topped Alexandra Lunt 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5.

Finally, freshman Issey Norman-Ross, playing at No. 9 against No. 44 ranked Casey Cortes, won easily, with the final score coming in at 13-11, 11-7, 11-6.

The championship will be a rematch of the 2011 finals.  Yale won the match 5-4, with Hay winning a pressure-filled match with the team score tied at 4-4 to crown the Bulldogs as national champions.  They will attempt to repeat the feat Sunday at 1:30.


Princeton University Rating Yale University Rating Winner's Score Winner Code
1WS Cerullo,Julie 0.000 Tomlinson,Millie 0.000 11-8,13-11,6-11,11-9 Yale University C
2WS Eyre,Elizabeth 0.000 Hay,Kimberley 0.000 11-7,9-11,11-7 Yale University RE
3WS Bunyan,Nicole S. 0.000 Nadas,Rhetta N 0.000 7-11,14-12,7-11,11-6,11-7 Princeton University C
4WS Giovinazzo,Katherine M. 0.000 Van Arkel,Alexandra 0.000 11-7,11-7,11-6 Princeton University C
5WS Saunders,Alexis A. 0.000 Ballaine,Katie W 0.000 12-10,8-11,11-5,11-9 Yale University C
6WS Sawin,Alexandra R 0.000 Tilghman,Gwendoline C 0.000 13-11,11-4,11-7 Yale University C
7WS Dewey,Hallie 0.000 Mao,Shihui 0.000 11-8,11-5,11-7 Yale University C
8WS Lunt,Alexandra K. 0.000 Fast,Lillian A. 0.000 11-9,6-11,11-7,11-5 Yale University C
9WS Cortes,Casey S 0.000 Norman-Ross,Issey 0.000 13-11,11-7,11-6 Yale University C
 

Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity