MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - It was an outstanding morning of action for the Mount Holyoke College squash team, which powered its way to a 5-4 victory over St. Lawrence University in the consolation semifinals of the Walker Cup (C Division) at the 2019 CSA Women's Team National Championships.
With the win, the 21st-ranked Lyons move to 16-8 on the season and advance to Sunday's consolation championship which take place at Wesleyan's Rosenbaum Squash Courts at 8:30am. MHC will face the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between 22nd-ranked Hamilton and 23rd-ranked Wesleyan. The Saints conclude their team season with a 5-10 overall record.
The Lyons came out firing on Saturday morning, building up a strong lead which was cemented from the top of the ladder as rookie Mihiliya Kalahe Arachchige posted an 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 victory against the Saints' Sanna Koivumaki. Other early winners included senior captain Ragini Ghose, who posted an 11-3, 11-6, 11-0 win over Alexandra Infante at three, while sophomore Jennifer Mbah gutted out a hard-fought 3-2 (3-11, 5-11, 11-8, 15-13, 12-10) victory over Elizabeth Lasusa from six.
Rookie Maeve Watts-Roy also battled from the four spot, earning a 13-11, 11-7, 12-10 win against Starnisha Ramsey. Also fighting hard was senior Nadindhi Udangawa, who bested Makayla Kelley at two by a 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 margin.
The Saints earned the wins at five as Gabrielle Ahrens earned a 3-1 (11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-2) win over Lyons senior captain Lessly Portillo. Abigail Smith got the best of senior captain Tanishka Sachidanand at eight by a 3-1 (12-10, 10-12, 16-14, 11-6) score, while from nine, sophomore Emma Robson shouldered a tough loss to SLU's Katie Walsh, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6.
The match concluded with a battle at the seven's as St. Lawrence's Katherine Leiva and MHC's Kuzivakwashe Madungwe went to five. Leiva grabbed 11-7, 11-7 wins through the first two games, while Madungwe powered back in to tie with 9-11, 4-11 wins. In the final game, Leiva edged out the win by an 11-9 margin.