No. 5 Bulldogs Fall 7-2 to No. 2 Harvard to Conclude Regular Season
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The regular season came to an end for both Yale and Harvard Tuesday, with the No. 2 Crimson topping the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs in Cambridge.
It was the third straight victory for the Crimson after Yale swept both matches in the 2010-11 season, and the fourth consecutive straight-sets victory for No. 1-ranked Amanda Sobhy over Yale junior Millie Tomlinson, ranked No. 2 and the College Squash Association Individual Championships winner from that 2010-11 season.
In the first rotation of play, sophomore Shihui Mao grabbed a win for the Bulldogs at the No. 3 spot over Michelle Gemmell, coming away with an 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 win, but Harvard took victories at Nos. 6 and 9. Sophomore Issey Norman-Ross, ranked No. 41, was at No. 6 against No. 23-ranked Sarah Mumanachit, and went down 11-4, 11-3 in the first two games. Determined to put in a competitive match, though, Norman-Ross came back strong to take consecutive 12-10 victories and even the match at two games apiece. In the final game, though, Mumanachit was able to get back on form and win 11-8. In the ninth spot, senior Katie Harrison pushed Isabelle Dowling to 12-10 in the first game, but dropped the other two 11-7 and 11-4 to put Harvard up 2-1.
In the second round of play, senior captain Katie Ballaine came out of the gates with a bang against national No. 3 Laura Gemmell, taking the first game 11-7 in the second spot. However, Gemmell, a third former individual champion participating in the match, came back to sweep the rest of the match 11-8, 11-6, 11-9. At No. 5, junior Lilly Fast fell in four games to No. 22 Natasha Kingshott to put Harvard up 4-1. The deciding match was played at No. 8 between Megan Murray, ranked No. 53 nationally, and freshman Annie Ballaine. Early, it looked like Murray would run away with the win as she took the first two games 11-3 and 11-6. However, much like Norman-Ross had done earlier, Ballaine was able to dig deep and even the score with first an 11-8 third game, and then a 12-10 fourth. The fifth game, unfortunately for the Bulldogs, was an 11-7 victory for Murray and the conclusive match for the Crimson, who then sat at 5-1.
Sophomore Anne Harrison, ranked No. 82, was able to grab a victory in four games over No. 47 Julianne Chu with the match already decided, but both Tomlinson and junior Gwen Tilghman would go down in sweeps.
With the result, the standings for the coming weekend's Howe Cup are more or less set. Yale should be the fifth seed, behind four teams in Princeton, Harvard, Penn and Trinity that have defeated the Bulldogs. Yale finishes the regular season with an 11-4 record and a 4-3 Ivy League mark.
No. 1 Amanda Sobhy (H) def. Millie Tomlinson (Y) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-2
No. 2 Laura Gemmell (H) def. Katie Ballaine (Y) 3-1: 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9
No. 3 Shihui Mao (Y) def. Michelle Gemmell (H) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-2
No. 4 Saumya Karki (H) def. Gwen Tilghman (Y) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-1
No. 5 Natasha Kingshott (H) def. Lilly Fast (Y) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4
No. 6 Sarah Mumanachit (H) def. Issey Norman-Ross (Y) 3-2: 11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 10-12, 11-8
No. 7 Anna Harrison (Y) def. Julianne Chu (H) 3-1: 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4
No. 8 Megan Murray (H) def. Annie Ballaine (Y) 3-2: 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7
No. 9 Isabelle Dowling (H) def. Katie Harrison (Y) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-4
No. 10 Carolyn Brown (Y) def. Eliza Calihan (H) 3-2: 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8
Report by Calvin Bohn '14, Yale Sports Publicity