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No. 5 Yale Comes Up Just Short Against No. 1 Princeton

Millie Tomlinson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Millie Tomlinson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Saturday, the Yale women's squash team took the best team in the country to the wire, but could not pull off the upset.

Yale jumped out to an early lead on the strong performances of sophomores Shihui Mao and Issey Norman-Ross.  At No. 3, the No. 38-ranked Mao topped No. 21 Nicole Bunyan in a barn-burner.  Bunyan took the first game 11-4, but Mao was right back in it in the second 11-5.  Bunyan looked like she would pull off the win after she went ahead 2-1 by winning the third game 11-7, but Mao found an inner reserve of strength and came roaring back, taking the fourth game 11-7 and the fifth 12-10.  In the sixth spot, Norman-Ross was up against No. 34 Alexis Saunders (Norman-Ross is No. 41).  Norman-Ross set the tone early, going up 12-10, 11-5 before dropping an 11-5 hiccup in the third game.  In the fourth, though, she took a strong 11-8 win.  Freshman Georgia Blatchford, playing at No. 9, fell 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 to Casey Cortes, ranked No. 44 in the nation and still only playing No. 9 for the Tigers.

Princeton drew even in the second round of play.  At No. 2, No. 7 Elizabeth Eyre took down Yale's No. 28-ranked captain, senior Katie Ballaine, in straight games.  The same was true at No. 5 for No. 43 ranked Alexandra Lunt over junior Gwen Tilghman, as the No. 24-ranked Tilghman was unable to win a game.  At No. 8, freshman Anne Ballaine evened the score with an 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 win over Tara Harrington.

With the match score knotted at 3-3, it was up to junior Millie Tomlinson, playing at No. 1, fellow junior Lilly Fast in the fourth spot, and finally sophomore Anna Harrison at No. 7.  Tomlinson, ranked No. 2 nationally, would triumph over No. 4 Julie Cerullo, but that would be all for the Bulldogs.  Tomlinson completed an 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 victory over Cerullo, but unfortunately Fast and Harrison would be on the receiving ends of sweeps at Nos. 4 and 7, respectively.  Fast fell to Rachel Leizman, while the No. 82-ranked Harrison went down to No. 29 Alexandra Sawin. 

Yale is back in action Sunday against No. 3 Penn, again at the Brady Squash Center.

Yale University Rating Princeton University Rating Winner's Score Winner Status
1WS Tomlinson,Millie 0.000 Cerullo,Julie 0.000 11-9,11-8,11-7 Yale University C
2WS Ballaine,Katie W 0.000 Eyre,Elizabeth 0.000 11-5,11-9,11-9 Princeton University C
3WS Mao,Shihui 0.000 Bunyan,Nicole S. 0.000 4-11,11-5,7-11,11-7,12-10 Yale University C
4WS Fast,Lillian A. 0.000 Leizman,Rachel 0.000 11-5,11-8,11-5 Princeton University C
5WS Tilghman,Gwendoline C 0.000 Lunt,Alexandra K. 0.000 11-7,11-6,11-6 Princeton University C
6WS Norman-Ross,Issey 0.000 Saunders,Alexis A. 0.000 12-10,11-5,5-11,11-8 Yale University C
7WS Harrison,Anne 0.000 Sawin,Alexandra R 0.000 11-5,11-6,11-3 Princeton University C
8WS Ballaine,Annie Y 0.000 Harrington,Tara 0.000 11-3,9-11,11-7,11-9 Yale University C
9WS Blatchford,Georgia A. 0.000 Dewey,Hallie 0.000 11-1,11-9,11-9 Princeton University C
10WS Harrison,Katie A 0.000 Cortes,Casey S 0.000 11-4,11-4,1-11,6-11,11-4 Yale University C

Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity