February 15, 2007

W. Squash Seeks Redemption, NISRA B-Division Title

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This weekend the women’s squash team will face Hamilton in its opening round match of the NISRA National Championship.

Although the Red was not able to defeat Brown last weekend and get into the top division of the NISRA, it can still finish off its season strong, as it is one of the favorites to win the B Division.

“It was disappointing last weekend to lose to Brown and not get into the A Division,” said junior co-captain Mairin Barnes.

Last season Cornell was favored to win the lower bracket of the NISRA, however the squad lost to Bates in the finals. Earlier this year the women were able to pull off a 5-4 victory over a closely-matched Bates squad and now want a chance to avenge last season’s B Division final loss.

“We beat Bates earlier this season,” Barnes said. “So, I think we have a pretty good chance of winning.”

Bates has been a close rival of Cornell over the past couple of seasons and are currently ranked right behind the No. 9 Cornell squad.

In order to get a chance to face Bates, the Red will have to go through Hamilton in the opening round of the tournament.

The women had some lingering injury problems for much of the season, including the loss of freshmen Annie Ritter and Liza Stokes and No. 1 sophomore Maxi Prinsen. The two freshmen have played well since returning to the lineup, and Prinsen was able to return to the lineup last weekend.

The sophomore played well in her first weekend back, including dominating victories over her Tufts and William Smith opponents and a close loss to her Brown opponent.

The squashers now have a healthy lineup going into the postseason and are looking forward to the NISRA.

“We are favored to win this division,” Barnes said. “If everyone stays focused we should play well.”

The team’s two main goals throughout the season were to defeat Bates and Brown. They were able to accomplish their first goal earlier this year but fell short last weekend against Brown.

The Red now shifts its focus to the NISRA and opening round opponent Hamilton. The team wants the win the B division and it knows that in order to pull off the victory , itwill most likely have to face Bates. But right now the Red’s goal is to simply to beat Hamilton and advance.

Barnes, along with senior co-captain Jamie Singer, look to lead the Red to a solid performance at Nationals and a strong finish to the season.

This will be the last National Championship for Singer and fellow seniors Anna Beavis and Margot Dickson.