After a strong performance by the women’s squash team at the Ivy League scrimmage in New Haven, Conn. last weekend, in which the Red defeated Columbia and Dartmouth, head coach Julee DeVoy thinks her squad is ready for a busy weekend at the Williams Round Robin in Williamstown, Mass. The Red shut out the Lions, 9-0, and defeated the Green, 8-1, but fell to Penn, 7-2.
“[The scrimmage] was our first taste of matches outside of playing ourselves,” DeVoy said. “We just need to keep the momentum going and focus from one weekend to the next.”
“I think this weekend was good to get [our] nerves out and get back into the swing of things,” added senior co-captain Lauren Sachvie. “We were expected to come in fifth, and we did that.”
The team is eagerly anticipating a rematch against Stanford, the squad that handed the Red a tough defeat at Nationals last year. The women play four different teams this weekend, with matches scheduled on Saturday afternoon against Stanford and Middlebury, and a pair of contests on Sunday beginning at 12 p.m. facing Williams and Mount Holyoke.
“Opening the season with our closest rival, Stanford, is a big task,” DeVoy said. “It puts a lot of pressure on the girls, but … heading into that after last weekend is definitely going to get them in the zone and motivated knowing that they are playing reasonably well already.”
“Obviously we want to win the other matches because we are ranked higher than the other teams, but I think definitely beating [Stanford] is the main priority this weekend,” Sachvie added, echoing her coach’s sentiments.
DeVoy noted that focusing on four separate matches is a daunting task, but appeared positive about her team’s ability to “stay motivated and not get sloppy.”
“We really do want to give the other three teams a hiding. We want to go out there and beat them solidly,” she said.
Though the men’s team is only playing two matches this weekend — Middlebury at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Williams at 12 p.m. the next day — the squad is confident in its ability to excel against the opponents on the schedule.
“I would expect to see the whole lineup winning. I’ll be a bit disappointed if we drop matches against these teams,” said head coach Mark DeVoy.
Senior co-captain Alex Domenick agreed with his coach’s high expectations.
“I don’t think we should have too much trouble this coming weekend,” he said. “We’re playing two teams that aren’t as strong [as us], but it’ll be a good test because we’ll be training hard this week.”
The Red is heading to Williams feeling secure about its chances, but also acknowledged that it did not perform as well as it would have liked at the scrimmage last weekend. The Red entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, and finished in the same spot, losing to Princeton, 5-4, and Yale, 8-1, while beating Dartmouth, 7-2.
The matches served as a reminder of the work that the men still need to put in to ensure a successful season, according to senior co-captain Dave Hilton.
“In the losses we did have to Yale and Princeton we were definitely exposed,” he said. “[The matches] certainly highlighted a lot of things we need to work on going forward, and we really need to bear down if we’re going to be able to beat the top teams that we haven’t been able to beat in the past.”
Other than improving with fitness, Coach DeVoy mentioned that the men need to be better equipped at closing out decisive points.
“It wasn’t like we weren’t within striking distance [this past] weekend, it’s just that in the big matches, with the big points, they didn’t go our way,” he explained. “We’ve got to learn to start getting those big points at the crucial times. We’ve definitely got to work on our fitness a little bit more, but I’m confident were going to get there.”
Original Author: Olivia Wittels