The Princeton women's squash team fell in an early 4-0 hole and couldn't make up the difference Saturday afternoon in the CSA Howe Cup semifinal. The third-ranked Tigers fell to second-seeded Yale, which will take on top-seeded Harvard Sunday afternoon for the national championship.
Princeton, which knocked off Stanford 8-1 Friday afternoon, got victories from freshman Nicole Bunyan at No. 3 and senior Katie Giovinazzo at No. 4, but those would not be enough for the Tigers, who will play Trinity for third place Sunday. Princeton, which defeated Trinity in the 2011 championships to place third, defeated the Bantams 8-1 two weekends ago at the Jadwin Squash Courts.
Yale picked up 3-0 wins at both the No. 6 and No. 9 spots to grab an early 2-0 lead. Bunyan dropped her first and third games against Rhetta Nadas, but a 14-12 win in the second helped extend the match. She scored wins of 11-6 and 11-7 in the final two games to get Princeton on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, her win came after the second shift ended on the other two courts. Both sophomore Lexi Saunders (No. 5) and freshman Alex Lunt (No. 8) split their first two games, but neither could manage a game after that. Saunders' fourth game was the closest, but her 11-9 loss left the Tigers with no margin for error.
Bunyan extended the match with her gutsy victory, but Yale No. 7 Shihui Mao took out Princeton freshman Hallie Dewey in three games to clinch the team victory. Giovinazzo, in her final weekend of team competition, had a strong performance against Alexandra Van Arkel and won in three games.
Yale took the final two matches on the main court. Kimberley Hay topped Libby Eyre 3-0 at the No. 2 position, and reigning individual national champion Millie Tomlinson won a hard-fought 3-1 match over Princeton No. 1 Julie Cerullo. Tomlinson got out to a 2-0 lead by scoring a 13-11 win in the second game. Cerullo came back with an 11-6 win, but Tomlinson closed the match with an 11-9 victory.
YALE 7, PRINCETON 2
1) Millie Tomlinson (Y) d. Julie Cerullo 8,11,(6),9
2) Kimberley Hay (Y) d. Libby Eyre 7,9,7
3) Nicole Bunyan (P) d. Rhetta Nadas (7),12,(7),6,7
4) Katie Giovinazzo (P) d. Alexandra Van Arkel 7,7,6
5) Katie Ballaine (Y) d. Lexi Saunders 10,(8),5,9
6) Gwendoline Tilghman (Y) d. Alex Sawin 11,4,7
7) Shihui Mao (Y) d. Hallie Dewey 8,5,7
8) Lillian Fast (Y) d. Alex Lunt 9,(6),7,5
9) Issey Norman-Ross (Y) d. Casey Cortes 11,7,6