SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Mount Holyoke College squash team opened action at the 2019 Pioneer Valley Invitational in style on Friday evening, besting Haverford College by an 8-1 margin at the courts in the Kendall Sports and Dance Complex. With the win, the 25th-ranked Lyons improve to 10-4 on the season, while the 28th-ranked Fords are now 5-2 overall.
Sophomore Genesis Lara Granados (Bronx, N.Y. / DeWitt Clinton) opened the scoring for the home team, who were also playing their first contest of the season on their home court. She powered her way to a quick 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 win against Eva Tamkin at nine for the 1-0 edge. Classmate Emma Robson (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) followed soon after from eight after she bested Hannah Adler, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3.
MHC grabbed a 3-0 advantage following an 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 win by senior Ragini Ghose (Dubai/Millfield School) as she topped Isabelle Johnson. Sophomore Kuzivakwashe Madungwe battled to a 3-1 victory at six to give the Lyons a 4-0 edge, earning an 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-9 victory against Sunyoung Chai, but the Fords battled back from the fourth spot on the ladder as Madeleine Hager grabbed a tough-fought win over senior Lessly Portillo (New Haven, Conn./Hill Regional Career Magnet), 11-9, 11-6, 12-14, 11-2.
Senior Tanishka Sachidanand (Karnataka, India/Canadian International School), who was the deciding point in Tuesday's 5-4 win over Connecticut College, earned the match-deciding point against Haverford as well. From the seventh spot, she defeated Sophia Jackson, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6, for the 5-1 lead. First year Mihiliya Kalahe Arachchige (Panadura, Sri Lanka/Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya Colombo 7) went on to post a solid victory from the top of the ladder against Kaitlin Reese, winning 11-3, 11-1, 11-6, while classmate Maeve Watts-Roy (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual) earned the win at three with an 11-8, 11-2, 11-2 decision against Shreya Singh.
Sophomore Jennifer Mbah (Jamaica Plain, Mass./John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science) wrapped up the night's action at five, posting an 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 victory against Urgyen Wangmo.
Mount Holyoke returns to action at the Pioneer Valley on Saturday on their home courts. The Lyons will face 21st-ranked Wesleyan at 11:30am, followed by a 3:30pm match against 39th-ranked Bard.