NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, a strong crop of Yale women's squash players headed by sophomore Millie Tomlinson will travel to Amherst for the CSA Individual Championships.
The tournament is seeded based on the final regular season rankings, which were published on February 28th. The nation's No. 1 player by a landslide is Harvard freshman Amanda Sobhy. Tomlinson, the defending national champion, went up against Sobhy twice during the season and was beaten in three games each time. Nevertheless, Tomlinson is still ranked No. 2 in the nation on the strength of an otherwise dominant season. Fellow sophomore and Brit Kim Hay improved from No. 15 at the end of last season at No. 7, and senior captain Rhetta Nadas is now No. 16, up from last season's No. 33. Junior Katie Ballaine moved up from No. 47 to No. 26, and sophomore Gwen Tilghman improved from No. 46 to No. 34. Senior Alexandra van Arkel finished her Yale career at No. 36, a twenty spot jump in the rankings. Freshman Shihui Mao earned her first collegiate ranking at No. 40, followed closely by sophomore Lilly Fast at No. 41, up from No. 68. Freshman Issey Norman-Ross, the only Yalie to win in the Howe Cup final against Harvard, ended the season as No. 47, and finally freshman Anne Harrison is the nation's eightieth best player.
Yale's two seniors will join Fast and Harrison in sitting out the Individual Championships, but every other ranked player will participate. At the top of the draw in the Ramsay Division Tilghman will have the unfortunate first-round task of attempting to end Sobhy's undefeated streak. Ballaine will go up against Princeton's Elizabeth Eyre, ranked No. 8 nationally, in her first round. Hay will face No. 27 Sarah Mumanachit, of Harvard, in the first round. Tomlinson's first opponent will be No. 33 Alexis Saunders of Princeton. Should Hay and Tomlinson each win their first two matches, they will meet in the third round. The closest matchup before a meeting of the two Yalies would be between No. 10 Nirasha Guruge and Hay in the second round. Guruge had an excellent season, but played at No. 3 for the Crimson, while Hay was Yale's No. 2.
In the Holleran division, Mao and Norman-Ross will compete for the title against a lower-ranked assortment of players. No. 35 Alexandra Sawin of Princeton and No. 37 Kyla Sherwood, from Stanford, are the presumptive favorites, but neither will meet a Yalie until the quarterfinals. Both Mao and Norman-Ross have first round byes.
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity