PRINCETON, N.J. (Feb. 18, 2011) – The seventh seeded Mount Holyoke College women's squash team rolled to a thrilling 6-3 triumph over second seeded Middlebury College today in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 College Squash Association National Championships. With the upset win, the Lyons advanced to tomorrow's Kurtz Cup (B Division) semifinals.
They will face off against third seeded Williams College, which downed sixth seeded Columbia University by the same score. The match is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. at Princeton University's Jadwin Gymnasium. Mount Holyoke's last win over the Ephs came during the 1999-2000 season. Williams has defeated the Lyons 9-0 in each of the previous three years. The two squads did not face off against one another this season.
Champions in each of the competition's four subdivisions will be crowned on Sunday. The other Kurtz Cup semifinal will feature top seeded Brown University and fourth seeded Bates College. Brown hammered eighth seeded George Washington University 9-0, while Bates raced past Amherst College 8-1.
Mount Holyoke (14-10) put together one of its finest performances of the season today after falling 7-2 to Middlebury at the Yale University Round Robin on January 23. The Lyons prevailed in all three five game matches to pull off the impressive turnaround.
Junior Shara Robertson got things going with a 3-0 victory at the number three spot. Mount Holyoke's second point of the day came from first year Katrina Intal, who overcame a 2-1 deficit to take her number six contest 3-2. The rookie trailed in the deciding game before eventually pulling ahead and winning by a score of 13-11.
The Lyons earned two more points in the second round of matches to push their lead to 4-2. Sophomore Tempest Bowden picked up a 3-0 victory at the number five slot, while senior Vidushi Gurunada prevailed 3-2 in her number two tilt. After falling behind 2-0, the veteran won the next two games to even the score. She fought off three match points on her way to a 13-11 victory in the fourth before closing things out with an 11-6 triumph in the fifth.
Heading into the final grouping, Mount Holyoke needed just one win to seal the match. Middlebury quickly sliced the deficit to 4-3 with a 3-0 victory at the number seven spot. First years Randima Ranaweera and Shaheen Madraswala then took their respective courts with the match on the line.
After splitting her first two games at the number four position, Madraswala rallied back from a 10-5 hole to take the pivotal third game by a score of 13-11. She then clinched things for the Lyons with an 11-7 triumph in the fifth. The cherry on top came from Ranaweera, who collected a 3-2 victory at the top of the ladder. After falling behind 2-1, she picked up wins in the fourth and fifth games.
Middlebury's points came from Amanda Chen (7), Anne Ulrich (8) and Kathryn Yates (9). All three players earned sweeps for the Panthers, who fell to 16-6 on the year. They will take on Columbia tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.