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Freshman Takes Thriller At No. 1 To Help Ivy Champ Tigers To Fourth 9-0 Win

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 12/07/2013
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Libby Eyre was pushed to four games, but she earned a win at the No. 2 spot.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
The Princeton women's squash team made sure it went into the holiday break on a positive note, and it learned something about its top freshman as well. No. 1 player Maria Elena Ubina fought through both injury and a tough opponent to pull out a 3-2 thriller and help the Tigers to a 9-0 win at George Washington.

The win keeps Princeton (4-0) perfect on the season, which won't continue until Jan. 11, when the team makes its way to Boston to take on the defending national champion Harvard Crimson. Princeton fought off a match ball last season in a 5-4 upset of Harvard that paved the way to the Tigers' Ivy League championship season.

"It's great to go into winter break undefeated as a team," sophomore Rachel Leizman said. "At this point, I think we all feel like we're playing well and have a couple things were trying to improve on before our big matches after the holidays. We're looking really strong right now and I believe we'll be even stronger with a bit more training."

Ubina will have her hands full against Harvard's Amanda Sobhy, the reigning national champion, but she showed Saturday that she will certainly put up a fight. Despite an injury that kept her out of the Drexel match, she fought for wins of 14-12 and 12-10 to open a 2-1 lead over Gaby Porras. She lost the fourth, but she pulled out the late points in a 12-10 fifth-game win.

"Marie Elena fought hard," head coach Gail Ramsay said. "She has been out for the last 10 days with an ankle sprain so she struggled to get into some rhythm today. Her opponent is a strong player with great touch and ball control, and she had Maria Elena running all over the place. I really appreciate the effort and fight Maria Elena showed today."

"I'm especially proud of Maria Elena, who won 12-10 in the fifth against a top ranked player in college squash," junior Hallie Dewey said. "She was injured earlier this week, but I've never see someone fight so hard and maintain composure at the same time. She was down match ball in the fifth, fought it off and hit a shot no one should ever go for on match ball, but that's how she plays and it's amazing to watch."

That would be the toughest match of the day for Princeton, though senior co-captain Libby Eyre was extended to four games in her win at the No. 2 spot. Eyre took out Breanne Flynn 11-4 in the fourth set to clinch the match.

Everybody else took care of their opponent in three games, including junior Hallie Dewey, who lost only eight total points in a win at the No. 6 position. Leizman had a tight third game, but she claimed an 11-8 win to finish off a win at No. 4.

"I was pleased with how I was moving today and felt like I was getting a lot of shots back," Leizman said. "My length shots weren't as good as I would've have liked, but it's reassuring to know that I can rely on other parts of my game when one aspect isn't working so well."

Ramsay showed the versatility in her lineup, as she used at least two players from every class in the win. Freshman Alex Toth joined Ubina in the starting lineup and won at the No. 8 spot, while sophomore Tara Harrington picked up her second win of the season at No. 9.

"Right after break will be one of our toughest matches of the season and I think it's most important that we remember how far we've come already this season and that it's completely within our hands to keep getting better," Dewey said. "I couldn't be more excited for the rest of the season."

Princeton 9, George Washington 0
1 - Maria Elena Ubina d. Gaby Parras (6),12,10,(2),10
2 - Libby Eyre d. Breanne Flynn 9,8,(10),4
3 - Nicole Bunyan d. Alejandra Parras 7,9,4
4 - Rachel Leizman d. Emely Levyn 3,3,8
5 - Alex Lunt d. Jackie Shea 5,2,6
6 - Hallie Dewey d. Alexa Tzarnas 2,3,3
7 - Alex Sawin d. Mehak Chawla 3,5,5
8 - Alexandra Toth d. Eunice Tan 6,8,1
9 - Tara Harrington d. Elizabeth Tapley 6,8,1

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