In a fine collective effort, the undefeated Crimson women's squash team (3-0 overall, 1-0 Ivy) sent Brown (1-3 Ivy) home feeling a little blue on Tuesday.
After each of the nine Harvard players closed out her match in three decisive victories, Brown was in the red as well--9-0 in matches, 27-0 in games.
"We definitely lost," Brown coach Stuart le Gassick said. "But playing the best team in the nation is a good way for us to measure our ability for the rest of the season."
The big news of the day was not, however, the smash, bang, bam Crimson victory. The new news is that Sophomore Vanya Desai, seeded at number one early last year until she got ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, returned to play Coach Stuart le Gassick said. "But and won her first collegiate match.
"I was nervous, playing my first game," Desai said. "I was just trying to get the points over with and end the match."
She made her intentions clear from the start, opening with fast serves and furious cross-courts. After winning her first game 15-8 over Nilou Panahpour, the unsatisfied Desai upgraded her determination, turned the tin into a goldmine, and tallied 15-3, 15-5 victories.
She walked off the court as if it were just another game.
Harvard Co-captain Stephanie Clark inherited Desai's court-four legacy, putting her opponent to bed in three quickies. She pulled drop shots and three-wall nics from her bag of tricks as if they were going out of style. When Brown senior Catalina Hoyos hit her wild, bounce-around-the-court, multiple-wall shots, Clark put them away with grace, winning 15-8, 15-7, 15-8.
"I felt quick and strong out there," Clark said. "I just wanted to put the ball away on any opportunities I had."
Junior Mary Greenhill followed suit, confusing Bruin Renee Schneider with a wealth of cannon-hard criss-cross serves.
"Mary's serves are just incredible," le Gassick said. "Renee couldn't learn how to return them in just three games."
The Greenhill serve captured a 15-4, 15-10, 15-8 sweep.
And at the top of the ladder, freshman Jordanna Fraiberg set the pace from the outset. You might think opponent Mercy Carbonell would catch on to the ingenious Fraiberg's strategy of hitting the ball where the opponent least expects it. But then again, that's part of the beauty of Fraiberg squash--you just never catch on.
Fraiberg pocketed her run-away games in 15-6, 15-8, 15-9 victories.