The No. 1 Harvard women’s squash team dominated late in the match to down No. 3 Trinity, 7-2, at Barnaby Courts last night.
Originally, the Crimson (9-0, 5-0) was set to face off against the Bantams (12-2) on Jan. 26, but heavy storms struck, forcing a rescheduling of the match and adding another tough match to Harvard’s late schedule.
With Harvard just squeaking by No. 5 Penn and No. 4 Princeton in last week’s matchups and Trinity having nine nationally ranked players, including No. 2 Pamela Hathway, the Bantams had all the elements to take down the defending champions and cut their 20 game winning streak.
But the Crimson took home the last six matches, proving that it is still the best in the nation.
During the first cycle, Harvard started shakily, uncharacteristically dropping two out of three matches.
Captain Alisha Mashruwala, who plays at the Crimson’s third spot and is ranked 13th nationally, lost a five-game heartbreaker after leading two games to zero.
“I started off pretty strong but in the third game, I thought there was a lapse in concentration,” Mashruwala said.
On another court, classmate Alexandra Zindman dropped a five game match to Trinity’s Robyn Williams.
No 37. Cecelia Cortes, the Crimson’s sixth player, picked up the only win during the first rotation as she won two straight points in a deuce in the third game to take the match 3-0.
Down two games to one, the Crimson women rallied in the second cycle and took all three matches in a dominant showing, winning nine straight games collectively to put Harvard up 5-2.
“This is the height of our season,” said No. 17 sophomore Natasha Kingshott, the Crimson’s fifth player. “We’ve been peaking for this match.”
The Eliot resident remarked on the team’s continued training and mental fortitude.
“There is a lot of pressure on us, so it is important to stay focused and calm,” she said. “We just want to play squash and to make sure it is the best version of ourselves that steps onto that court.”
Kingshott used a barrage of power and finesse shots to keep her opponent off balance. The sophomore easily took down her opponent in straight sets.
Junior Nirasha Guruge, Harvard’s No. 2 player who is ranked seventh nationally, had some trouble in the third game as her opponent came back down 6-1 to come back to tie it at nine all.