For the first time in her Crimson career, sophomore Laura Gemmell, shown above in earlier action, dropped a regular-season set in her matchup against No. 15 Nabilla Ariffin. Gemmell still came out on top in four frames.
The No. 1 Harvard women’s squash team (8-0, 5-0 Ivy) has not lost a match in almost two years.
As matter of fact, the women are a mere eight days short of hitting that two-year mark.
The squad kept its winning streak alive this past weekend on its final road trip of the regular season. It toppled No. 5 Penn (8-3, 4-2) on Saturday and No. 4 Princeton (8-3, 4-3) yesterday, undoubtedly providing some key momentum for the tough matches that lay ahead.
“It was our first real test of the season,” said captain No. 13 Alisha Mashruwala of the weekend. “Everyone stepped up when they needed to.”
HARVARD 7, PRINCETON 2
The Tigers may have had the home-court advantage at the Jadwin Squash Courts, but that ultimately proved futile in the face of a strong Crimson performance.
Coming off a close victory against the Quakers, the Harvard women channeled their confidence into a dominant showing.
“We learned from the match [on Saturday] and we came out firing,” sophomore No. 17 Natasha Kingshott said. “Everyone improved from their match the day before…Every single player went into the match with a plan and knowing their strengths and weaknesses.”
Mashruwala likewise noted the confidence of her teammates.
“The team went into today mentally prepared and very ready to play,” Mashruwala said. “There was a lot of energy and a lot of confidence after [Saturday’s] match. Everyone, win or lose, played the best that they could.”
Utilizing that energy, Kingshott, fellow sophomore No. 42 Sarah Mumanachit, junior No. 37 Cece Cortes, and senior Alexandra Zindman all defeated their opponents in straight sets, 3-0.
Also capturing victories were sophomore No. 1 Laura Gemmell and senior No. 29 Bethan Williams—both won in four frames. Senior No. 9 June Tiong rounded out the wins with a five-frame triumph.
Faring less well, but not for lack of effort, were Mashruwala and junior No. 7 Nirasha Guruge.
Mashruwala couldn’t quite hang on for the win, losing in five sets, and Guruge fell in three.
“Princeton played great,” Mashruwala said. “Princeton is always hard. They always come out at you, and they’re one of the strongest teams, always, in the Ivy League.”