PHILADELPHIA — The No. 5 Yale Bulldogs came up just short Saturday in a 5-4 loss to the No. 3 Penn Quakers.
Yale (12-2, 2-1 Ivy) fought hard all day, but Penn prevailed in a nail-biting contest that saw four matches — including those in the three top spots — require all five games to decide a winner. Of those four matches, Penn took three, an advantage which provided the Quakers their 5-4 victory.
Penn and Yale traded matches — and for that matter, individual games — back and forth the whole afternoon, with neither squad gaining a substantial lead. Sophomore Annie Ballaine snatched Yale's only 3-0 victory at No. 9. Senior Kim Hay was the only Bulldog to come out on top in a deciding fifth game, sealing her victory at No. 2 with an 11-3 win.
With the match tied 4-4, the contest came down to a showdown in the top spot between Yale senior Millie Tomlinson and Penn freshman Anaka Alankamony. Alankamony, though in her first year of collegiate competition, has amassed an impressive playing resume, winning Asian Junior individual championships in 2011 and 2012. Fittingly, this contest swung back and forth, with both players taking games by narrow margins. Ultimately, Alankamony edged out Tomlinson in the last two games for a close win (14-12, 11-13, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8).
While the end result may be discouraging, the Bulldogs played strong squash and nearly upset their higher-ranked hosts. Yale will have a chance to come out on the winning side of what should be another tight battle Sunday, when the Bulldogs face the No. 4 Princeton Tigers.
Report by Evan Brown '16
Penn 5, Yale 4 - Women
Alankamony (P) def. Tomlinson (Y), 3-2 (14-12, 11-13, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8)
Hay (Y) def. Tan (P), 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3)
Lala (P) def. Mao (Y), 3-2 (6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9)
Jones (P) def. Norman-Ross (Y), 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 12-10)
Scherl (Y) def. Lanier (P), 3-1 (11-1, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8)
Wong (P) def. Fast (Y), 3-1 (11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5)
Tilghman (Y) def. Celata (P), 3-1 (11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10)
Blacker (P) def. Mao (Y), 3-2 (13-11, 13-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7)
Ballaine (Y) def. Fehm (P), 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-9)