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Squash contends favorably with nation’s best on East Coast trip

Sophomore Tatyanna Dadabbo (above) went undefeated in her six matches this weekend. The team won four matches overall against stiff competition but dropped two matches to No. 3 Princeton and No. 6 Yale. (JOHN TODD/stanfordphoto.com)

No. 4 Stanford women’s squash (11-4) won four of six matches against top teams this weekend as it wrapped up regular season play.

The Cardinal defeated No. 10 Dartmouth, No. 8 Cornell, No. 11 Williams and No. 9 Drexel and lost to  No. 6 Yale and No. 3 Princeton.

Stanford opened the weekend with a 2-7 loss to Yale on Friday. The Cardinal have never beaten the Bulldogs, losing to them in each of the past eight seasons. This loss also marks the third time in three East Coast trips this season that the women have lost their opening match.

Sophomore Sarah Bell attributed the team’s opening losses to the high quality of the teams that the Cardinal have played in their opening matches. In addition to Yale this past weekend, the team lost to top-ranked Harvard to start its first weekend trip and lost to second-ranked Pennsylvania on its second trip.

“If we had a different order of matches, I don’t think you would see us losing those opening matches,” said Bell.

Two of Stanford’s victories came in the form of a four-game win by sophomore Christie Huchro and a five-game win by sophomore Tatyanna Dadabbo. Junior Bailey Bondy and fifth-year senior Madeleine Gill took their matches to five games. Dadabbo went undefeated in her six matches this weekend.

Stanford bounced back on Saturday, winning all three of its matches, 8-1 over Dartmouth, 6-3 over Cornell and 7-2 over Williams. This is the first time Stanford has defeated Cornell in the past eight years.

The first game on Sunday came against Drexel. The Cardinal dominated that match 8-1, with seven of their eight wins coming via three-game sweeps and the other coming in a four-game victory. The only loss came in Gill’s five-game match.

The sixth and final match of the weekend was against Princeton, another team that the Cardinal has never beaten. Stanford lost 7-2, with its only two individual match victories coming from Dadabbo and freshman Tara Shannon. Huchro pushed her individual match to five games.

Head coach Mark Talbott said the players “weren’t too down” about the loss to Princeton.

“They were disappointed with the loss, but I think they felt they were in the match.”

He also pointed out that two of Stanford’s losses against Princeton came in five games and could have easily gone the other way. He said that the team should be heartened by the fact that they were able to play a competitive match against a strong Tigers team.

Regarding the team’s chances in a rematch, Talbott said, “You just have to have everything break right. You have to have everybody play their best.”

Despite two losses, the weekend was a success. The Cardinal hope to build on their strong play as they move on to the CSA National Championships at Yale on Feb. 26. It is very likely that Stanford will see a team it has already faced in the championships, as it has competed against most of the top teams in the country.

 

 

Contact Elliott Lapin at elapin ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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