AMHERST, Mass. - The Mount Holyoke College squash team continued its busy slate on Saturday, heading to Amherst for a pair of games to open the Pioneer Valley Invitational. The Lyons shouldered a 9-0 loss to #17 Dickinson, before suffering a tough 6-3 defeat to #24 Connecticut College. MHC moves to 4-5 overall on the season following the contests.
In the opener against the Red Devils, the Lyons saw its tightest match come from the fourth position as Nicole DeLuca bested MHC's Jennifer Mbah. The Lyons rookie won the opening set by a 13-11 margin, but shouldered losses of 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 as DeLuca earned the 3-1 win.
Also fighting hard was the dual at two between Dickinson's Eloise Nimoityn and MHC's Ragini Ghose. Despite a strong effort, Nimoityn earned the tight 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 victory.
The second match of the day, the Lyons battled the Camels and saw success at the top of the lineup, as well as from the eighth position. Senior captain Brandy Williamson was the victor from one, posting an 11-9, 11-6, 11-4 win over Margaret Davey.
Ghose added to the Lyons score from two after notching an 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 win against Conn's Molly Carabatsos. The Lyons earned their other victory from eight as rookie Emma Robson grinded out a 3-2 win against the Camels' Phoebe Pilakas. After earning the 11-4 win in the opener, Robson suddenly faced a 2-1 deficit as Pilakas posted 11-1 and 11-6 scores to take the lead. Robson fought back, earning the victory with 11-4 and 11-5 scores to seal it.
Other hard-fought efforts by the Lyons included junior Lessly Portillo at four, who shouldered a 3-2 (4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6) loss to Denise Bonilla after she battled back from being down by two sets. From seven, Jacqueline Chu rallied from a 12-10 opening deficit to best Lyons' rookie Kuzuvakwashe Madungwe in the final three sets (10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11).
Mount Holyoke concludes its busy weekend on Sunday when it continues Pioneer Valley Invitational play at home. The Lyons will host Hamilton at 9am, before welcoming St. Lawrence at 2pm. Sunday also marks Senior Day for MHC's five graduating seniors.