No. 5 women’s squash (3-1) showed that the best is in the West by sweeping No. 13 Franklin & Marshall College (1-5) 8-0 on Tuesday. Notably, all eight Cardinal players beat their opponents cleanly in three games.
What helped propel them to such a victory? Home court advantage. For the first time in two years, the Cardinal were able to compete on their home courts. Head coach Mark Talbott explained that “[being] used to the courts … the material and the temperature … the bounce of the ball” gives each player the confidence to play their best.
Senior captain Julia Olson expanded on the challenges of always being the visitor, noting that differing time zones as well as foreign courts can have an effect. In addition, while it’s always nice to have the support of “a great group of parents” who travel to the games, Olson admitted it’s nice having the in-person support of fellow classmates.
This win might give Stanford the extra boost to beat Yale, whom they’ve never beaten, along with Harvard and Penn when they come out to play this weekend. Stanford will look to seniors C.C. Ho and Bailey Bondy as well as freshman standout Casey Wong to keep up its impressive 4-0 performances this season. Wong has played in the No. 1 spot in the highly competitive matches against Princeton, Virginia and Columbia. Her lack of college experience doesn’t seem to have held her back, as Wong defeated Princeton junior Olivia Fletcher — another highly ranked player — in four games.
Looking forward to this weekend, Stanford must combine its current confidence level with the grit it has shown in other hard matches. If the Cardinal need any examples, they should look to both Bondy, who beat Princeton in a five-game match with an 11-9 score in the last game, as well as Ho, who beat her Columbia opponent in the last game.
Up next for the Cardinal are three more home games, against the Crimson on Thursday at 5 p.m., the Bulldogs on Saturday at 11 a.m. and the Quakers on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.