Three weeks after nearly upsetting the top-ranked team in the nation, the Princeton women's squash team will be looking to ignite some February momentum with a trio of home matches this weekend.
Princeton is currently 5-2, but it was a match ball away from being 6-1 with a road victory over No. 1 Harvard in its only weekend of competition since Dec. 10. One day after topping Dartmouth 9-0, the Tigers stood toe-to-toe with the Crimson in a Jan. 15 matchup inside the Murr Center.
Princeton claimed wins in each of the first three matches, including a 3-0 win for sophomore Libby Eyre at the No. 3 spot, and grabbed its fourth win with a 3-0 victory for Casey Cortes. Sophomore Lexi Saunders had a match ball at No. 4, but Crimson freshman Haley Mendez held strong at home and finished Harvard's 5-4 comeback win.
While the result was disappointing, Princeton traveled home knowing it could compete with the best teams in the nation (as Eyre talked about in this week's TigerCast). The fifth-ranked Tigers will host three teams in the Top 10, including a Saturday showdown with No. 2 Yale, the reigning national champion.
Princeton will open its weekend Friday at 5 against the sixth-ranked Stanford Cardinal. This is the second Eastern trip for the Cardinal over the last month; in mid-January, Stanford went 3-2 in matches at Yale, with its only losses coming to both Yale and No. 5 Trinity.
Stanford is led by No. 1 player Pamela Chua, who ended last season ranked ninth nationally and will provide a tough test for Princeton's third-ranked Julie Cerullo.
Yale comes to Jadwin Saturday at 3 for a key Ivy League showdown. The 2011 Howe Cup champion is 12-0 overall and 3-0 in the league, though it still has three top-five opponents still to face. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore Millie Tomlinson, the second-ranked player in the nation and the reigning individual champion. Tomlinson and Cerullo didn't face each other last year, as they were in opposite semifinals in the 2011 individual championships.
The matchup will feature several close matchups throughout the draw and could match the drama of the 2011 Howe Cup semifinal, when Princeton nearly derailed Yale's perfect season in a thriller. The Bulldogs won 6-3, but Princeton had two matches even at 10-10 in the fifth game, including a comeback win for current senior captain Rhetta Nadas at No. 5. Nadas will likely face Eyre at the No. 3 position this week.
Saturday's doubleheader against Yale (the men take on Yale in a key Ivy League match at noon) will be streamed live on GoPrincetonTigers.TV.
Brown is ranked 10th nationally and comes into the weekend with an 8-3 record. The Bears are coming off an 8-1 win over Colby College in a match that included eight 3-0 wins for Brown.