The Princeton women's squash team will enter next weekend's Howe Cup national team championships as the fifth seed after falling short of an upset bid at second-ranked Trinity Saturday afternoon. The Tigers claimed only one match against the Bantams, who will be looking to make their second straight appearance in the finals.
The loss means that Princeton will have defeated all the teams ranked below them in the most recent rankings, and it will have lost to the four teams ranked higher. The Tigers lost to the top three teams in the latest poll (Harvard, Trinity and Penn), though all four of those losses came on the road.
If they get one more chance at any of the three, it will come at much friendlier confines. The Howe Cup begins Friday morning at the Jadwin Squash Courts, where Princeton is 5-1 in its last two Howe Cups. That stretch included a national championship in 2008 as the second seed, as well as a third-place finish in 2011 as the fifth seed.
Trinity took control of Saturday's match early, sweeping the first shift to open a 3-0 lead. Both Nicole Bunyan (3) and Tara Harrington (9) fell in four games, while junior Hallie Dewey was pushed to five games at the No. 6 spot. Dewey had been undefeated during the regular season, but Natalie Babjukova was able to control the final game for an 11-5 win.
The Bantams were actually able to clinch the team win early in the second shift, sweeping 3-0 matches at both the No. 2 and No. 8 positions. Princeton junior Alex Lunt was able to grab a 2-1 lead at the fifth position, but Ashley Tidman won the final two games to open a 6-0 lead.
Reigning CSA individual finalist Kanzy El Defrawy topped Princeton freshman Maria Elena Ubina 3-0 at the No. 1 spot, but senior co-captain Alex Sawin made sure Princeton got on the board with a 3-0 win at No. 7. She won two close games over Sachika Balvani, and then carried the momentum into the third game for an 11-2 win.
Trinity closed the match with a 3-0 win at the No. 4 spot.
Princeton will face Yale in the 4-5 quarterfinal Friday, and it will look to avenge a tight 5-4 loss to the Bulldogs at Jadwin earlier this month. All times for the tournament will be announced in the Howe Cup preview on GoPrincetonTigers.com later this week.
TRINITY 8, PRINCETON 1
1. Kanzy El Defrawy (T) d. Maria Elena Ubina, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8
2. Catalina Pelaez (T) d. Libby Eyre, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6
3. Wee Nee Low (T) d. Nicole Bunyan, 11-9, 5-11, 11-1, 11-5
4. Anna Kimberley (T) d. Rachel Leizman, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5
5. Ashley Tidman (T) d. Alex Lunt, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8
6. Natalie Babjukova (T) d. Hallie Dewey, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5
7. Alex Sawin (P) d. Sachika Balvani, 11-8, 11-9, 11-2
8. Jennifer Pelletier (T) d. Alexandra Toth, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9
9. Chanel Erasmus (T) d. Tara Harrington, 11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9