Feb. 14, 2004
In what was a triple crown of sorts, the No. 1 Yale Bulldogs captured the National Championship, Ivy League title, and a victory over their archrival, all coming as a result of a 7-2 victory over No. 4 Harvard. In the latest addition to what has been a thrilling undefeated season for the Bulldogs, Yale overpowered the visiting Crimson to earn the Barhite Cup, given to the regular season dual match national champion.
"I'm pretty excited," said a beaming head coach Mark Talbott. "I'm just really proud of all the women. They've worked really hard this year and clearly they deserved to win this championship. They've been the best team this year, and it's been a few years coming."
Predicted at the start of the season to be the favorite for the Ivy League title, the Elis began their trajectory toward the Barhite Cup on January 21st, when they pulled out an upset 5-4 victory over perennial favorite Trinity.
Easy wins over Princeton, Penn, Dartmouth, and Cornell--the Elis dropped only two matches in all four competitions--maintained Yale's undefeated season and earned the Bulldogs the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Michelle Quibell's pair of wins over Trinity's Amina Helal, once during the dual match and again in the finals of the Constable Invitational individuals squash tournament, also gave her the individual number one ranking.
"I'm just really proud of all the women. They've worked really hard this year and clearly they deserved to win this championship."
Yale Head Coach Mark Talbott
Against Harvard today, Quibell pulled out a strong victory over the Crimson's Louisa Hall, who won the first game of their four-game match 9-7. Quibell battled back in front of a vocal crowd to take three games in a row, including a tight fourth game which she won 9-7. The final score of the number one match, which was completed after the Elis already knew they had won the contest against the Crimson, was 7-9, 9-2, 9-3, 9-7.
"It was a really good win and I'm so happy for our team," Quibell said. "We've been anticipating this match for a long time and it's good to come out on top."
In the number two slot, Amy Gross defeated Lindsay Wilkins 3-0, while Catherine McLeod bested Audrey DuBoc 3-0 in the third position. The Bulldogs earned wins at all positions except four and five, with both losses being close 3-2 contests that involved multiple lead changes.
The rest of the wins in the six through nine slots were all fast 3-0 victories for Yale. Lauren McCrery, Kate Rapisarda, Lauren Doline, and Sarah Coleman came out on top to lead the Bulldogs to the national championship, league title, and win over the Cantabs.
After playing Brown on Tuesday in a match that had to be rescheduled due to weather, Yale has a chance to add one more major title to their ever-growing list of accomplishments when the Elis host the Howe Cup team tournament next week. But regardless of what happens, it has certainly been quite a special year for this Bulldog team.
report by Katie Baker '05, Yale Sports Publicity Department
1. Michelle Quibell (Y) def. Louisa Hall (H) 3-1 (7-9, 9-2, 9-3, 9-7) 2. Amy Gross (Y) Lindsay Wilkins (H) 3-0 (9-5, 9-4, 9-1) 3. Catherine McLeod (Y) def. Audrey DuBoc (H) 3-0 (9-0, 9-1, 9-2) 4. Lydia Williams (H) def. Frances Ho (Y) 3-2 (9-2, 0-9, 1-9, 9-2, 9-6) 5. Moira Weigel (H) def. Rachita Vora (Y) 3-2 (5-9, 9-3, 7-9, 9-5, 9-3) 6. Lauren McCrery (Y) def. Ally Fast (H) 3-0 (9-4, 9-0, 9-1) 7. Kate Rapisarda (Y) def. Hilary Thorndike (H) 3-0 (9-1, 9-4, 9-5) 8. Lauren Doline (Y) def. Stephane Hendricks (H) 3-0 (9-1, 9-4, 9-3) 9. Sarah Coleman (Y) def. Tina Brown (H) 3-0 (9-1, 9-3, 9-3)